Five years ago my husband and I were living in Spokane Washington. We had lived there for 17 years; raised our last four children during their Jr. High and High School years. We had grown to love the area, the people; we had great friends and had many unique opportunities of service in our church.
Suddenly, my husband lost his job after 17 years of working for the same company. It was one of those downsizing and probable times when they get rid of their older employee's. It took him 9 months to find a position. He had 3 job offers just before his severance pay ran out. We had to make a quick decision. The jobs that were offered were in Fort Worth, Texas, Kansas City, Kansas and Salt Lake City, Utah; plus a possible job in Spokane. The Job in Texas and Kansas were more money, less cost of living and lower housing prices. Salt Lake City was the highest cost of living and the highest price of housing and the lowest job pay. At this time we were getting ready to fly to Salt Lake for a family wedding. One of the offers was made while we were boarding our plane to go there. After the Wedding in the Salt Lake Temple, we walked around temple square. We prayed and talked and thought over what should we do. The job offer in Salt Lake wanted a quick answer. The job in Spokane was not for sure; so we were nervous about waiting for that one even though we wanted to remain in Spokane. Our oldest Son and his family lived in Heber, Utah which is near Salt Lake; along with our daugher and her husband who lived in Salt Lake City while he was attending the University. Our other two sons lived in Idaho Falls and Sugar City Idaho; so they would only be four hours away from Salt Lake. This of course was a positive thought. Our oldest daughter lived in Corpus Christi, Texas and we would be leaving our youngest daughter and her family in Spokane. We were torn as to what to do. Our choice was of course to stay in Spokane; we loved it there or perhaps take the higher paying positions with the lower cost of living and lower cost of homes.
As we were praying and walking; I knew beyond doubt we were to take the job in Salt Lake. Meanwhile, I didn't voice those feelings because I knew my dear husband needed to know that too. All of a sudden he started to shed tears. I became alarmed at first; then he told me he knew that we were to come here and he had the words from the third verse of; " How Firm A Foundation", come into his mind. As we said those words over we were overcome with the spirit testifying that we were to come Salt Lake.
Here are the words:
"Fear Not I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed.
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
up held by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
My husband in accepting this position would be doing an entirely different area of his profession than he had been doing for over the past 17 years. Also, everything didn't go smoothly for our move. We were unable to sell our home in Spokane for 6 months. It was a time of intense stress and very big changes in our lives. He had to start his job here in Salt Lake sooner than I was able to come. Just before I left Spokane; I had a very hard time leaving and had been crying off and on for over two week; even though I knew beyond doubt we were doing what we were suppose to do.
The last Sunday there was my Birthday and I was very emotional. I asked our Bishop for a blessing. The one thought that impressed me the most was that some day we would know why we were here. In the last 3 years we do know beyond doubt exactly why we are here. There is so much comfort when you do know that you are doing the Lord's will.
Elder Robert D. Hales gave a BYU Campus devotional message recently. I will quote a few thoughts from his message.
" It is by using one's agency to make right choices today, tomorrow and for the rest of an individuals time on earth that they are able to follow the Savior and return to his presence."
"This development always takes time and testing and faith. We will all be tested, often to our limit. Yet all of us are assured that we will never be tested more than we can endure. And the greatest blessings will be based on how well we endure our test."
"Whatever challenges or hardships an individual may experience in life are provided for a reason - to help individuals become and accomplish what they were specifically sent to the earth to be and do. Heavenly Father has unique plans for every individual that are more glorious than anything an individual could imagine or arrange for themselves. "
Elder Hales further said that individuals must listen to the Spirit rather than the opinions of men in order to make correct decisions. "
"All of us should carefully consider what Heavenly Father wants us to do, and how he may be preparing us."
Elder Robert D. Hales - Deseret News Article September 14, 2010.
It isn't always easy to understand God's will for us; verses what we think would be best to do.
Giving our will to God is the only true way and if we learn to do this; we will receive the greater blessings.