“‘Go and Do’: The Journey to Hope,” New Era, Jan. 2020, 24–29.
We all go through tough times. Even Nephi, a strong and stalwart prophet, faced challenges in his youth. He dealt with personal struggles, trials within his family, and feelings of unworthiness (see 2 Nephi 4:17–19).
Despite his challenges, though, Nephi trusted God to “prepare a way” for him to “go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Nephi 3:7).
This year’s youth theme and video are inspired by Nephi’s testimony and focus on how we, too, can “go and do” the things God asks of us, even during hard times. We asked four youth from New Zealand who participated in the youth video to share how they personally found ways to come closer to God during their trials.
Their stories can help us see that even when we feel lost or stuck, there is a door to hope—we just need to look for it.
“Some things don’t happen right away. … But progress is progress, no matter how small.”
When Zyon’s parents got married, his mom was a member of the Church, but his dad wasn’t. After several years, his dad still hadn’t been baptized. Zyon’s siblings also struggled with their faith, and even Zyon sometimes felt overwhelmed trying to do what the Lord asked.
But he knew that no matter what, God loved them and could help them.
“He has an eternal love for us,” Zyon says, “and that love will never fade. No matter what we do, we can always come back to it. No matter how far we fall, we can always rise back up.”
Zyon decided that even though his family was struggling with their testimonies, he could strengthen his own. One way he did that was by determining to serve a mission when he’s old enough.
“Ever since it first clicked that I could someday serve a mission,” Zyon says, “I’ve seen so clearly how He has lined things up to help me prepare to serve.”
Since making that decision, Zyon began to see how the Lord was preparing not only him but also his family to receive great blessings. His dad finally decided to get baptized. Later, Zyon was sealed to his parents. His older siblings even started coming back to church.
Zyon says he learned an important lesson: “Even if we don’t see it, even if we don’t fully understand it, the Lord is always preparing us to do as He commands and to receive all that He can give us.”
“Revelation is a direct answer from God to each of us.”
Melissa sometimes has a hard time making decisions and figuring out what she wants to do in the future. “I have a lot of responsibilities, and it’s hard to balance life and church and school,” she says. “It can be hard to know which way to go and how to make it all work.”
But even though life can be busy, Melissa says, “I’ve learned that I just need to make sure that I always think about God first.”
Melissa determined that to put God first, she should make her prayer and scripture study more effective. She would read a verse of scriptures, pray about it, and then write down her impressions.
As she’s practiced this strategy, Melissa says she started to understand the meanings of each verse better. “It becomes clearer how I can apply it to my life.”
She’s also received blessings that help her manage her priorities and make good decisions. “When I communicate with God more often and try to involve Him in my life as much as possible, all of my other activities fall into place, and life seems a lot easier.”
“I prayed with such a tiny seed of faith, and still I felt Their love.”
Theo’s dad is diabetic and has relied on a dialysis machine (a machine that cleans blood for those who have damaged kidneys) for the past 18 years. Growing up, it was hard for Theo to think of what the future might hold for his dad.
“When I was just starting high school, his health declined to the point where losing him became a very real possibility,” Theo says. “There was no stopping the fear and sadness of knowing that could happen.”
On top of this trial, Theo didn’t feel worthy enough to pray. “Church just wasn’t as important to me as it should be,” he says. “I didn’t think I was in the right mind-set.”
But when the day came that Theo thought his dad was ready to go, Theo felt a clear prompting that he needed to turn to God.
On the day he thought his father would die, Theo decided to get on his knees and pray. “I began that prayer not expecting a response. But instantly I felt comfort and strength.”
Today, Theo’s dad is still alive and defying all medical odds. Theo recognizes how big of a miracle that is, especially since a lot of people don’t survive illnesses like these. Most of all, he’s grateful he felt God’s love. “Heavenly Father and the Savior are so generous. I prayed with such a tiny seed of faith, and still I felt Their love.”
“The Lord never asks us to do something that won’t help us in the end.”
Huia faced uncertainty when she received a prompting she didn’t expect. She shares, “When I was at a youth conference, I felt the strongest impression that I needed to serve a mission. My whole life I didn’t want to—like really didn’t want to. I was happy for my two brothers to go on missions, but it was not for me.
“I don’t deny it. I’ve tried to make other plans for myself, but in the back of my head, I always think, I should really do what He tells me to do.”
With time, Huia decided to do the Lord’s will and prepare for a mission. “I’m doing my best to prepare for that day, because I know that the Lord never asks us to do something that won’t help us in the end.”
While preparing to serve a mission, Huia’s seen the blessings of her obedience. “I can already see little ways the Lord is preparing the way for me to accomplish the things He’s asked me to do. I don’t always know exactly what will happen when I follow His guidance, but I know that there is always going to be a bright place afterward.”