It was a cool September evening when my companion and I began walking home after a busy day of preaching the gospel. We had our dinner appointment that evening at a member’s home and had finished our lessons for the day. It was our week without the vehicle, so we headed home on foot. We came to a particular intersection on the road that gave us two options: a safer and more lit path home or a longer path down a few streets and alleys. I didn’t think too much about it but felt we needed to take the longer way home.
I was sure that my companion, who at the time was a new missionary, wanted to be home right away after a long busy day. We began approaching the final street we would need to cross to get home when we spotted a figure in the distance walking to the bus stop. We were close to home but thought this would be a great way to contact one more person for the day by taking the longer way home.
Under the streetlight, we started a conversation with a woman waiting for a city bus. We told her that we were missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She replied that she was also a member but because of recent trials and struggles had not been active for some time. Life was difficult for her, yet she wanted to return to the gospel. We bore a simple testimony to her and were able to set a time to come teach her family. As we said goodbye and walked down the dark alley back to home, we could not stop smiling and knowing that Heavenly Father led us to her at the perfect moment.
My companion and I knew that we were guided by the spirit to take a longer path home to find those Christ wanted us to bring back. As Elder Gerrit W. Gong has taught: “Along life’s path, we may lose faith in God, but He never loses faith in us. As it were, His porch light is always on. He invites us to come or return to the covenants that mark His path. He waits ready to embrace us, even when we are ‘yet a great way off’” (Luke 15:20)” (“Covenant Belonging,” Ensign, Nov. 2019, 81).
Seeking Eternal Treasures
In life, Heavenly Father “will order all things for our good” (Doctrine and Covenants 111:11). In the summer of 1836, the leaders of the Church were heavily in debt from their many labours in the ministry. Upon hearing of some potential monetary aid in Salem, Massachusetts, the Prophet Joseph Smith, accompanied by Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery, decided to travel there. Along their journey they were able to preach the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and help many receive the fulness of the gospel. The Lord declared, “There are more treasures than one for you in this city” (Doctrine and Covenants 111:10). Although they did not locate anything in monetary value, the trek to Salem fulfilled the revelation for building the kingdom of God.
Likewise, the experience my companion and I had was an unexpected “treasure.” It helped build our testimonies knowing that the Lord will order all things for our good. This experience helped me understand that Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers in His time and for our benefit. God will guide us in our journey here on the earth.
Christ Will Lead the Humble
Section 112 of the Doctrine and Covenants helps us understand that we must humbly seek the will of Heavenly Father to be led to the righteous path. During this time, many members were speaking against leaders of the Church, and the unity between the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was weakening. The Lord declared, “Let thy heart be of good cheer before my face; and thou shalt bear record of my name, not only unto the Gentiles, but also unto the Jews; and thou shalt send forth my word unto the ends of the earth” (Doctrine and Covenants 112:4).
Thomas B. Marsh, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve, came to the Prophet seeking guidance. God revealed to President Marsh, “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to prayers” (Doctrine Covenants 112:10). As we humbly turn our hearts to the Savior and have love for all around us, then God can lead us through our trials, struggles, and tribulations. These principles helped President Marsh as he sought guidance as to how he could mend the relationships between the brethren of the Church and trust in the Prophet Joseph Smith.
I have a testimony that the Lord will order all things for our good. There have been many experiences in my life that have shown me this, but what came to mind first was the experience I had as a missionary. My companion and I could have taken the faster and easier way home but listening to the prompting, we were led down a longer path that led us to finding someone who needed the gospel in their lives. Just as the Prophet Joseph Smith was led to Salem, he too was guided to find, teach, and baptize many of the Church’s early members.
The key “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study” in the Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families outline for October 4-10, 2021 teach us that we need to be humble and understand that we too can be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. At times we might not know why we are going through certain things, but with faith and trust in God, we will grow and be strengthened through following the covenant path. As we follow these principles of the gospel, we can have a firm testimony. When trials and temptations come before us, we can be anchored in Jesus Christ. I bear testimony that the Lord will order all things for our good.