Heavenly Father Has a Plan for You
When I was walking in this morning, I stumbled across a penny. And I was reminded of a man who fought hard and continued even when his road was treacherous. Abraham Lincoln is a man who had a lot of hardships in his life. Things did not go according to his plan. He lost many elections, his business failed, his sweetheart passed away at a young age, he had a nervous breakdown, and he lost many countless elections after that. This is all before he became the President that we are all familiar with.
I recently found a list that I made back in 2004. This list was my five-year plan. Some of the items included graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, buy a new car, go to Europe, become a runner, get married, buy a house, ride a jet ski to Catalina Island, start a career in higher education, and graduate with my MBA. In the last 10 years, some of the items are still a work-in-progress, while many of them have been checked off. To say the doors have been opened would be an understatement. But to say that each one of them went according to plan would be false. My parents were very loving and understanding when they received a phone call from me during my fourth year of college, saying that I wanted to leave my full-ride scholarship at UVU and move home and attend Weber State University.
I have purchased several cars since that time, some of them being good decisions, while others, we’ll just say, were less than smart. Being a home owner has been quite the adventure, but I’ve been able to create a home and a sanctuary for myself. Five years later than planned, but 41 days from today, I will get on a plane going to Paris, for the first time, to experience Europe. I have fallen in love and experienced extreme heartbreak. I had what I thought was my dream job, and then later was laid off. I tell you these things because my plan was nothing like I imagined. There has been more than one day that I have felt alone. I have felt lost, and I have felt like my life plan was unattainable. It was not until I recognized that it was not my plan, it is His. I have to remind myself to put that checklist away and turn to our Heavenly Father. He has a plan for each and every one of us.
President Uchtdorf encouraged us during our last General Conference to be grateful for our circumstances, and reminded us that it is an act of faith in God, (“Grateful in Any Circumstances,” April 2014 General Conference). Many of you are in very critical—you’re in a time in your life when that you’re making very critical decisions. You are deciding on a major that will eventually lead you to your future career. Many of you are in the process of finding your spouse, the person that you will hopefully choose to spend eternity with, build a family with. Choose wisely. You are currently making decisions every day that affect your testimony. Involve your Heavenly Father in every single decision that you make. He loves you dearly, and wants nothing more than for His children to be happy.
When you think of the stories of our past prophets, what thoughts come to mind? Do you see that you are fighting the same battles that they did? Are you incorporating the lessons that you’ve learned from them? Do you have the faith of Noah? The change of heart of Alma the Younger? And the grateful heart of Nephi, that never faltered him? We are continually being prompted by the Savior to guide us through our life. Like most things, we are able to always look back and see the lessons learned, and see our mistakes. I recently had an experience similar to this. I had purchased two airline tickets to Arizona to surprise my friend for his birthday. I knew it would be a memorable birthday, and a fun weekend away. I was very excited for weeks leading up to it. Approximately three weeks prior to the surprise, I started feeling very uneasy about the trip. I was unsure why, I travel regularly. I’d been to Phoenix countless times. And who wouldn’t want to escape the cold weather and go away for a weekend? Days went by and I was still very, very uneasy. No matter what details of the trip I adjusted, I still had a gut feeling that I should not go. It was a nagging feeling and I finally listened to my gut feeling and decided that I would not go to Phoenix. Later, after I made the decision, I was talking to my best friend. I was telling her that I had a feeling that I should not go. She quickly made a comment that she was impressed that I would listen to the Spirit, even if it meant missing out on my airline tickets that I had purchased, and a weekend getaway. I immediately thought to myself, and said to her, “It was me that had this feeling.” I repeated this story to another friend that knew of my struggle whether to go or not. I told him my decision to stay. He also said, “I’m impressed that you were listening to the prompting.” Once again I thought to myself, “I had this feeling.” It wasn’t until later that I had a moment alone, that I realized it wasn’t my gut, it was the Spirit talking to me.
Now some of you may be thinking, “She listened to the Spirit, she’s in tune, she didn’t go on her trip.” But the truth is this was a much more eye-opening experience. I had been hearing the Spirit, and I was assuming it was Morgan speaking. I was not humble enough to recognize the hand of the Lord in my decisions. God has promised us, and He’s told us that we will hear it in our minds and in our hearts (D&C 8:2). I will never know what would have happened on that trip. But I can stand in front of you confidently today and tell you that there was a reason that I should not have been on that trip. And I’m thankful that I can look back now and see that the Holy Ghost was with me the entire time. I’m grateful for His presence in my life, and I pray that you’ll be able to learn from my experiences of not being humble enough to recognize the Spirit speaking to me, and that you are listening and watching for the Savior guiding you.
We have been promised, “Do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, (D&C 68:6). Remember, you are not alone. He’s promised us He will not leave us comfortless. Our Heavenly Father knows you, He loves you, and He hears you. As Ron said earlier, I participate in the Ragnar relay. And last month…it’s a 12-person relay, and it runs from Logan to Park City. The average team takes about 30-34 hours to complete the 197 miles, and you have three legs to run throughout your journey. It was my third leg, and they affectionately have named it “Ragnar Hill.” For those of you who are familiar with Guardsman’s pass, imagine four miles climbing 1700 feet of a hill like this. I started my run very quickly…I started my run. I was not quick. I started my run and I quickly realized that this was 100 times harder than I imagined. My team quickly picked up on the fact that I was struggling. They would not go too far ahead of me, so I could continually see them and hear their cheers. Still, I was having a very, very difficult time. I looked at my GPS and saw that only a half a mile had passed. I was completely defeated. I was only 1/8th done, and there was a lot of hill left to climb. Tears filled my eyes, and my legs have never felt so heavy. My sister Julie hopped out of the truck and came over to me, and looked me in the eye, and said, “You can do this. We will do this together.” For two miles more, she walked side-by-side with me, telling me I could do this.
We continued up there, and my best friend hopped out of the truck and relieved my sister. They were both just as tired. They had just finished their last runs. But they were with me. I had almost reached the exchange, and I could see it in the distance. I could also see my sister. I started running. Every step was hard. Every step I felt the love and support from people in my life. Brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you, you can do this. We can do this together. We have been promised, “Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment,” (D&C 121:7). We can endure it well, and “God will exalt thee on high.” Life is hard. Life is challenging, but you are not alone. Our Heavenly Father is with you every step of the way. He is leading you, He is guiding you. Listen to Him. Involve Him in your life, and all of your decisions. You have been promised so many blessings, if you keep the covenants with the Lord.
I have not ridden a WaveRunner across the Ocean to Catalina Island. But, I have ridden the waves and the currents of life. And like the Jaredites crossing the sea to the Promised Land, I have learned that the Lord has prepared me, He is with me, and He continues to say, “Come follow me,” (Luke 18:22). If I had the insight I have now, the list I made 10 years ago would sound a little bit like this: Strengthen the relationship with the Savior. Never give up, and seek the hand of God in all things. With our Savior by our side, we can accomplish anything. We are still at the beginning of our journey. Things have not gone according to plan, and they will continue not to go according to our plan, but our Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. We have the choice to follow Him, and receive all the blessings in store for us.
It is my prayer that you will continue to make decisions that involve the Savior. Look around where you are. You are so special that you go to school with people that have your same beliefs, that you’re able to share and discuss the teachings of the Savior, and share your testimony on a daily basis. Continue to follow Him. I know the Savior lives, and I know that He loves each and every one of us. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Introduction: Chief Academic Officer Ron Guymon
Sister Morgan Best has been teaching at LDS Business College as an adjunct faculty member since 2009 in the professional sales program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Sales from Weber State in 2006, and then soon after graduation went to work at the University of Phoenix as an Academic Counselor. During that time she also took classes and earned an MBA in 2008. Last year, after taking a class from Sister Best, one of our students wrote the following, which I wanted to share with you:
“This is the most helpful class at the school. It teaches you how to use creativity in your presentations, and how to make them stick in the audience’s mind. Morgan is, by far, the greatest teacher; so nice, knowledgeable, professional, helpful, and fun.”
Off the clock, Sister Best can be found with her family, travelling and at the lake with her friends, at Keith Urban concerts, or planning her next project on her house. She also enjoys running Ragnar relays. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Ragnar relay, this is nearly a 200-mile, overnight course that begins in Northern Utah near Logan. And then after the relay teams cross three mountain passes, they end up in Park City. So, it’s quite an event. We’re grateful to have Sister Best speak to us.