Why are you a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
Have you ever been asked that question? If not, you will be. How would you answer that inquiry? Honestly, I would have to say that because my mother and father taught me at a young age to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, I revere it now as well. This is not my primary reason for being a practicing member of the Church, but I believe that I would not be who I am today without having had that guidance.
True, we cannot know entirely the result of decisions or circumstances and their effects on our life, but that doesn’t mean we are just guessing—rolling the dice on life, if you will. In one sense, things have turned out much differently for me than I ever expected. That happens to all of us, but in another sense, I am doing just exactly what I had always planned. How can that be?
Let’s talk about it.
When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I was convinced it would be a boy. On the other hand, she was adamant that we were having a little girl. This was long before ultrasounds were done routinely. At that point, we had never even had one. As the anticipated birth date came and went, our excitement only increased, but when the day for delivery actually arrived, the anticipation, excitement, and intensity of the situation caught me off guard. It wasn’t until the doctor announced “It looks like we have a little … girl,” that I even remembered that I was expecting a baby boy. Ha. First time fathers know what I mean. And, of course, it didn’t matter. I was grateful for a beautiful and healthy daughter.
Well, I knew the odds were in my favor for number 2, and indeed, our second child was a little boy. So there we were back at 50/50. Then, the way it worked out, the next baby was a girl, then the next, one more girl. Number five was still another girl. Finally, our last child—you guessed it—a little girl.
So if things turn out much differently for you than you first expected, remember this story, because my children have been an incredible source of happiness for me and my wife. Even though my family consistency turned out differently than I first expected, I am doing just what I had always planned, and life has materialized much sweeter than I ever imagined. And it continues getting better even now than I ever expected that it could. My son and I have been spoiled having all these beautiful women as part of our lives. Things I never expected or realized are turning out better than I could even imagine, and our sons-in-law and daughter-in-law are a wonderful and significant part of the reason why.
My life has been much different than expected, yes—but it is even better.
So how is it that this same scenario can’t play out similarly in other aspects of our lives? That job you always wanted, the school you have been dreaming about attending, the home and family that you have worked so hard for—things will likely turn out differently than you imagined as well, but I believe as you employ the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, they will be better than you or I could even conceive.
And that is not just hopeful anticipation or wishful thinking; that is doctrine.
“Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of, they come.”
My family and I recently went camping together. Calf Creek Falls campground was incredible. I loved it during the day, and I was stunned by it at night. Like other places I have been on occasion, it was far away from city lights. We slept under innumerable stars. The starry night sky reminded me that there must be a never-ending number of opportunities like Calf Creek awaiting us. The Milky Way displays billions of awe-inspiring testaments of that fact, and the evidence of this truth starts today.
Life improves and hope abounds the very second you begin embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if that principle has the power to enrich life immediately just seconds after embracing it, just think what a lifetime of following these principles can do. I can tell you from experience—it’s amazing.
That doesn’t mean all will go well without ever dealing with problems, obstacles, or hardship. On the contrary, problems, obstacles, and hardship are part of life. But the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the antidote to these enmities and the solution to all others.
Yes, I guarantee you that life will turn out differently than you expect. It always does, but for those that embrace Jesus Christ and try to follow the gospel path, they find peace and happiness in this world, and galaxies of joy are surely in their future in the world to come.
That is what living in the blessing can do for you and for me.
About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.