“I Took the Challenge,” New Era, Feb. 2005, 47
As a teenager I was lonely and depressed. I had few good friends, hated school, withdrew from my family, and often had doubts of Heavenly Father’s love for me. I hated myself and despised the world.
Then everything changed. My Young Women president challenged the girls in my ward to read the Book of Mormon and pray regularly for three weeks. Despite my doubts I took the challenge. That night I opened my Book of Mormon and read for about 10 minutes, then said my first sincere prayer in months. Though difficult at first, eventually the reading and praying became a habit. Soon the three weeks were done.
Our Young Women president gave each girl who had completed the challenge a small prize. But more prized to me was the difference it had made in my life. As I continued to read the scriptures and pray, I became happier. Problems no longer seemed as difficult, and I recognized how blessed I was. Instead of feeling worthless, I felt like a beloved daughter of God and developed a strong testimony with steadfast faith.
How wonderful it was when in the midst of prayer, I felt the Spirit testify of Jesus Christ and His loving sacrifice for me! I wept to think that I had ever doubted my Heavenly Father, who is merciful enough to forgive me when I am ready to repent. To know this is a wonderful prize indeed.