In early January of 2009, my roommate Cheryl and I went to a BYU Devotional at the Marriott Center. We had both returned from our missions, she to Mongolia and I to Brazil, the year previous. Both of us had struggled with being home and longing to go back to our missions and to experience them again. We wanted so badly to be back where we felt valued and felt close to the Spirit and where people loved us so dearly. We longed to be where we knew our purpose and felt like we were fulfilling what God had sent us to do. We longed to be doing something we knew was essential and the most important work we could be doing. As we sat and listened to this devotional by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, our perspective began to change.
Elder Holland quoted Robert Browning:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”
As we listened to Elder Holland proclaim that the best was yet to be, and that we mustn't look backward, but instead press forward, my heart was touched. I finally realized that my mission had been a most wonderful experience and one that would forever shape my life. But it was not my life and not my only good experience in life. And it most certainly was not the "best" that would ever be in my life. Although hard to believe, I began to realize that life was full of many more things that would build upon my wonderful past to bring a bright, faith-filled future.
As Elder Holland said, "Some of you [are] having thoughts such as these: Is there any future for me? What does a new year or a new semester or a new major or a new romance hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future? Or would it be better to look back, to go back, to go home?
"To all such of every generation, I call out, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the 'high priest of good things to come.'"
His words bring meaning to me this year as well as I set my resolutions. On New Year's Day, shortly after the clock had struck twelve, I determined something I needed to improve this year is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I once again listened to this talk to start my year off right. "Faith is for the future."
To link to Elder Holland's talk, click here.