Good in All Things

Sometimes truth comes from unexpected places, like my friend’s experience with illegal drugs, or Cat Stevens’ conversion to a religion different from my own. God uses all things for our benefit. So where have you found truth in your life? What blessings have you found in your good, hard, and unexpected life experiences? ❧


Video Transcript (edited):

Have you ever found yourself talking and while you are talking you are also thinking, What? Why am I saying that? Where did those words come from? Do I really think that?!? This happened to me once, very clearly. I was a young adult, maybe around 20 years old, and I was sitting with someone I was just getting to know. I turned to him and without knowing what was coming out of my mouth, said, "I have a feeling that I'm supposed to learn something from you. Do you know what it is?"

What a crazy thing to say! After I said that, I thought, What?!? Is that true? Do I really have that feeling? And he paused… Then I thought, How in the world is he going to respond to that? He's just supposed to teach me something out of the blue? Yet after he paused he shared with me a truth that was relevant to the struggle that I was going through at that time. I was extremely grateful.

I told him how grateful I was, and he looked uncomfortable. Then he shared that he needed to confess something about the source of that truth, but he was nervous because he knew that I was Mormon. He thought I wouldn't want to hear what he was going to say.

He shared that this truth or insight came to him as a result of his experiences with illegal drugs. I was surprised! I’ve been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for all my life. I've never dabbled in illegal drugs; they are against the Word of Wisdom which is a health commandment that we follow in our church. Drugs were not part of my life, and I didn’t expect his experiences with drugs to have taught him something profound that would help me on my journey. Yet, so it was.

I'm sharing this story because what I decided as I sat with that information is still true for me today. I decided that I embrace truth from wherever it comes, whomever it comes, however it comes. It could be in any religion. It could be from any experience. It could be from any person who crosses my path.

Since then I have found truth in many places. Beautiful truth, in places where it might be difficult to open my heart to receive. Another story that comes to mind is from college, when I stopped to hear Cat Stevens share his conversion story to the Islamic religion. His story was beautiful and touched me deeply. I've held it in my heart ever since.

I am a Christian, and I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ, and above all I embrace truth wherever it comes as long as it is truth. I can feel truth inside me by the Spirit of God.

This idea of learning from all our experiences is supported in scripture. One of my favorite passages of scripture is from modern revelation through a prophet in our church. At the time it was written, the Prophet Joseph Smith was struggling with with intense persecution both to him and his people. He prayed for help and recorded God’s answer to him as he was suffering and struggling this way. God’s answer is found in a book of scripture we call the Doctrine and Covenants, chapter 122, verse 7.

Actually, Doctrine and Covenants 122 lists those horrible things that happened to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Then it ends the list with verse 7, “And above all, if the very jaws of Hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou my son that all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good."

It doesn't matter what I experience — whether it's pleasant or painful, just or unjust, of my own doing or others — when I come to God, He uses it for my good. I like to visualize life giving me vegetables and fruits and good food, along with manure and any other euphemism for that word that you would like to think of. I can accept all of those experiences and God will use them to nourish me. He’ll turn the manure into compost and grow plants of truth in my life. He will use it all to return me to my true nature, to transform me into someone more like Him.

(By the bye, sometimes the hard ones take awhile to compost.)

My testimony is that God can use all things for our benefit. Truth can come from all sorts of places. My joy is to gather it in and know God better through any experience, person or religion that comes my way.

What I want to ask you then, is where have you found truth in your life? What blessings have you found in your good, hard, and unexpected life experiences?

Keep Shining!


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