Firm Foundations

    “Firm Foundations,” New Era, Feb. 2020, 46–47.

    Firm Foundations

    A Sabbath Day Blessing for “Lefties”

    young men playing basketball

    Illustrations by Andrea Rivola

    When I told my basketball team I wouldn’t play on Sundays, they weren’t happy. At one weekend tournament, the last game would be on a Sunday. Because I play left-handed, my coach said they needed me to guard the other team’s “lefty.” I felt a lot of pressure. I wanted to keep the Sabbath day holy, but I didn’t want to let my friends down.

    The day before the game, I read the For the Strength of Youth standards for Sabbath day observance with my dad. It talked about how Sunday should be treated as a sacred day, where you refrain from things like athletic events. There was also a promise that when you keep the Sabbath day holy, you gain spiritual strength. I prayed for help to keep the Sabbath day holy.

    Even though it was hard, I chose to go to church with my family. That Sunday, we were visiting another ward in our stake for sacrament meeting. As I sat in the chapel, I was anxious because I wasn’t at the game helping my team.

    Then the deacon passing the sacrament handed me the tray with his left hand. I looked up and realized he was the “lefty” I was supposed to guard at the game. Just like me, he had chosen to go to church instead of playing basketball. I felt a calm assurance from the Spirit.

    I wasn’t worried about the game anymore. I realized that Heavenly Father knows us. He’ll help us with difficult decisions when we keep His commandments.

    Noah J., North Dakota, USA

    I’m Glad I Turned Around

    young woman driving

    It had been a long night of practice, and I was ready to go home. As I pulled out of the school parking lot, I noticed a friend waiting in the dark for a ride. I nodded and waved to him as I drove past.

    But I was only a couple blocks down the road when I felt a strong impression that I needed to turn around. So I drove back and asked my friend if he needed a ride. He said he did.

    As we started driving home, the topic of religion came up. I was surprised when he asked me hesitantly, “So … what do you typically do on Sundays?”

    I told him that Sunday is a day where I take time to worship Heavenly Father and be with family. He was intrigued and continued to ask questions. Before dropping him off, I invited him to come to church. He accepted, and the next Sunday, he joined my family and me at church and even participated in our at-home Come, Follow Me discussion afterwards.

    My friend eventually started coming to church every Sunday and even got baptized. Now we go to the temple together with our friends.

    Seeing his experience helped me realize how much God loves all of His children. If I hadn’t heeded that prompting to turn around, I’m not sure I would’ve been a part of my friend’s amazing journey. I know the Lord can work through us when we heed the Spirit’s promptings.

    Morgan G., Arizona, USA

    Still Enlisted in the Greatest Army

    people singing hymns

    About five months into serving my mission in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, I began to experience panic attacks and anxiety that controlled my every thought. After many conversations with my mission president, my parents, and a counselor, I made the hard decision to return home.

    I was devastated.

    I had been so excited to serve on the front lines of the greatest army. Why was this happening to me? I couldn’t understand what the Lord was trying to teach me.

    It wasn’t until a sacrament meeting months later that I really started to understand. For the closing hymn, we sang “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go” (Hymns, no. 270). The second line reads, “It may not be at the battle’s front my Lord will have need of me.” I imagined my missionary self on the battlefront and realized that Heavenly Father did not need me in Arizona. He needed me here.

    I know that the Lord has a plan for me. That knowledge brings me enough peace and strength to endure. I’m not sure I will ever fully know why I needed to come home early, but I am now able to carry on with these words ingrained in my heart: “I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord … ; I’ll be what you want me to be.”

    Kate B., Utah, USA