“What God Wanted for Me,” New Era, February 2017
Our Father in Heaven gave us the ability to choose so that we could use our agency to align ourselves with His will. When we do, the blessings are countless. Following God’s will means doing what the Lord would have us do, both when it’s easy and when it’s tough or inconvenient. But here’s the thing: when it comes to following God’s will, there’s always a way (see 1 Nephi 3:7).
We all face the challenge of aligning our will with God’s. In the following stories, youth share some of the struggles they face and how choosing to follow God’s will has blessed them. They experience, as you do, that following God’s will applies not only in the big decisions we need to make but also in the everyday choices to do what He asks in small ways.
When you follow God’s will …
One day I realized that I wasn’t reading my scriptures or doing some of the things I should be doing. I wasn’t being a good example to my brother and sister. So I decided to talk to my parents and my bishop about what was going on, to pray in the morning and at night, and to read my scriptures.
Sometimes I would pray to find answers to my questions through the scriptures. One morning, I prayed to have my eyes opened to something that I needed to know. I opened to Alma 38, where Alma is giving his son advice about things that you should and should not do. That really helped me out. This experience changed me because it opened my eyes to how much God loves us.
Doing what God wants me to do in the little things each day—including praying and reading my scriptures—helped me find these blessings.
Kade M., Hawaii, USA
I’m on a cheer-dance team at my school, and they’re known for doing some dance moves that aren’t very appropriate. So when I joined the squad last year, my mom and I talked with one of the school administrators and asked if they would enforce the school rules that didn’t allow inappropriate behavior. They said they’d try to enforce the rules better. I still had to go up to my coach a couple times and talk with her about it. That was really nerve-racking, but I’d always talk with my parents and pray about it beforehand. After I talked with my coach, I knew I did the right thing, even though it wasn’t the cool thing to do and some of the girls still don’t understand and think it’s weird. But in the end, I was proud of the decision I made. I was glad that instead of doing what was popular, I chose to stay strong in what I believed.
Annie B., California, USA
My brother is a big role model for me, so when he decided he wanted to serve a mission, I decided I was also going to take action to strengthen my own testimony to help him prepare. I started reading my scriptures more and paying more attention in church. It’s helped me so much, and I’ve been able to gain a testimony. I now know the Church is true. Reading my scriptures every night has also made my days better and has made me want to read more and pray more to continue strengthening my testimony.
Chase G., Utah, USA
When seminary started my freshman year, I was pumped and ready for it—but that excitement lasted probably about a week and a half. By then I was just tired, and I was going to bed late and waking up so early. Every morning, I just thought, “This is such a bummer.” And even though seminary was held at my kitchen table in my own home, I didn’t want to go. It was becoming such a burden for me.
Eventually I said to myself, “Why am I even going? I don’t need to go!” But then I decided to change my attitude. I started writing down something I’d learned every morning, and I did that for the rest of the year. At the end of the year, I read the things I’d written. Going to seminary and writing down insights every day helped me appreciate seminary and have a stronger testimony of the gospel—especially when I read through all of it and realized how much I’d grown.
Annie P., Texas, USA
When the mission age changes were announced, I felt excitement reverberate throughout the meetinghouse where I was watching it. Yet when I considered serving a mission, I felt hesitant and knew I needed to truly ponder the opportunity. Soon after graduating high school, I realized I could start my mission papers and began to feel that almost every lesson in church focused on either missionary work or discovering the will of the Father. The Spirit was prompting me to seek answers to my questions concerning a mission.
I began to pray for courage to accept God’s will for me. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment of decision, but after studying the scriptures, continuing to pray for guidance, talking with my parents, and pondering in my heart, I felt that serving a mission was not the right path for me. I inquired of the Lord to receive confirmation of this choice and was blessed with peace.
Katie G., Idaho, USA
At school, all of my friends were causing drama. They were fighting with each other, lying, and backstabbing. They tried to make everyone choose sides. There was a lot of conflict. I became very confused, so I turned to God by praying and fasting. I came to the conclusion that I needed different friends—friends who wouldn’t put me in difficult situations. But I was so afraid. I didn’t know how I could get new friends. But the more I thought about it, the more confident I felt that I could find new friends and move on.
I received answers in different ways. My family gave me advice. I also tried hanging out with new people and realized that I felt different with them. Since then I’ve been happier and more joyful. I’ve discovered more friends who help me feel great. I believe that when we follow God’s will, we can receive greater blessings and do greater things. Everything will work out in His plan.
Mekeli H., Colorado, USA
We’re each different, so each of our experiences in aligning our will to the Lord’s may be different, too. But no matter what, if we choose to trust in the Lord and act on what He’s asked of us, we will be blessed. Sometimes we don’t see immediate blessings, but as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”1 The Lord knows what we want, but He also knows what we need in order to help us grow and become better people. And we don’t have to do it alone—we can trust Him, and He will lead the way.