Following her LDS mission to North Dakota, Boston was struggling to adapt to post-mission life. “Some of us get caught-up in finding purpose for our own lives,” said 24-year-old Boston. “It’s easier to focus on others and help them come unto Christ. It can be more difficult when you’re aligning your own life to the gospel.”
The taco stand was one in a series of mini-revelations to the Utah native that helped Boston with that alignment.
Like the rest of us, Boston’s journey has included mistakes, sins, heartaches and regrets. Her experience includes some learning disabilities, depression and a major concussion that kept her out of school and off the cross-country team for months.
“I have felt shame for my learning disabilities and illnesses,” said Boston. “My biggest struggle has been the pain I have caused myself and others because of my choices. But these are the things we learn from (see Ether 12:27). Sometimes we struggle to move forward because we live in the past, but the past doesn’t have to determine our future or define who we are. We have a divine inheritance. The Atonement of Jesus Christ leverages our experiences to make us stronger, broaden our perspective and deepen our faith.”
Some challenges Boston faces won’t go away, but she believes she can choose how to rise above her trials. “I can work hard to be healthy and functional,” she said. “I can ask for help when I feel I need it. I still have some really bad days. But I’ve learned that even if my life hasn’t turned out exactly as planned, it doesn’t have to affect my joy.”
Before Boston returned from her mission, her grandmother saw a newspaper article about LDS Business College. “I had never heard about it,” said Boston, “but my dad convinced me to tour the College when I returned home. The day I walked on campus, I just knew this was the place I needed to be.”
Through the experiences that followed, the testimony she gained on her mission has been strengthened. “When I ponder my testimony, I feel a clarity of mind, peace, soberness, emotion in my throat and a warm calmness in my heart,” she said.
“Moroni says, ‘And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is’ (Moroni 10:6). These powerful feelings of the Spirit help us discern truth and trust God,” said Boston.
“Another ancient prophet, Nephi, struggled with a realization of his many weaknesses following his father Lehi’s death,” she said. “But then, in a moment of clarity, he says, ‘Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted’ (2 Nephi 4: 19) and talks about how God has preserved him in his afflictions. Like Nephi, I too have been comforted, preserved and loved by God.”
Boston says she was blessed with faith as a child, but she believes a testimony is something that accumulates from experience. “With depression, things can get very dark,” said Boston. “With sin, you can feel very lonely and disconnected. I have tested the gospel and lived it. I have asked questions and the answers have come. I remember all the times when I have felt the presence of God through the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. He has been there for me in the darkest and scariest moments. Combined with scripture study, prayer and obedience, these experiences give me confidence that God lives, loves me, and that I can trust Him and follow His plan. God is always reaching out for me, ready to pull me up if I will only take His hand.”
Boston likes to share three experiences she had in rapid sequence while at school. “A year ago as I was riding home,” she said. “I looked up at the mountains. They just felt so grand to me, so big and beautiful. I thought of the awe and wonder I have of God and His creations, and I was overcome with peace and a reassurance that we are in His hands.”
On another occasion, Boston was tempted to buy tacos at a stand but resisted as she needed to save money. “The taco man turned to me,” she said. “I thought he was going to say, ‘Buy some tacos,’ but instead he said, ‘Will you give me a beautiful smile today, miss?’ We shared a smile, and a feeling of energy overcame me and went deep into my heart. I felt a powerful connection with him, and in that instant I changed my perspective and all my barriers and walls came down.”
Shortly thereafter, Boston saw a homeless man in tattered clothes walk by. “He looked so empty—like he didn’t see anything,” she said. “All I could think about was the beauty of that man and how great he is in the sight of God. That was the same feeling I had toward the taco man. I wondered, could this be charity?”
Boston had previously thought she somehow needed to close the gap between herself and God, but she discovered something else. “We know that ‘charity is the pure love of Christ’” (Moroni 7:47), she said. “That’s what the Spirit was teaching me through these experiences.”
Boston describes charity as a lens to her heart. “It allows me to see clearly and gives me a glimpse of that divine potential we each have,” she said. “It’s a glimpse of God’s powerful love. I testify of that love, that God is watching over His children, and that we can come to know this as we feel, experience, wonder, serve and love others.”
Boston has a dream for the future—a way to use her God-given talents to serve others. “I want to open a dance studio,” she said. She’s paid the price through hard work dancing through her formative years, coupled with two years of dance education at a state university followed by two years of business management training at LDS Business College.
“Through the expression of dance, I want to teach others how to find a way to experience God’s love,” she said. “I want to help them see others around us as He does.”