God didn’t give me any guidance in the hardest decision I have ever made. But he gave me something better.
“I want you to stay. And if you stay, I’ll marry you.”
Before those twelve words, I had been so sure of my life plan. I was going to serve an LDS mission for eighteen months. I was sure of this plan when I submitted my mission papers. I was sure when I invited my boyfriend, PJ, to spend a week at my home just two weeks before I was to leave for my mission to Tempe, Arizona. I had even been sure when I received my endowment only a few hours before PJ uttered those fateful words.
But after those twelve little words, I suddenly had no idea what to do.
A couple days later as I drove PJ to the airport, the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” by the Clash, came on the radio. The irony was not lost on me. I cried the whole way home, begging Heavenly Father to tell me what to do.
Like the hundreds of other times I’d prayed about whether to go on a mission or marry PJ, I didn’t get a straightforward answer from God at this time. I was angry and frustrated that my Heavenly Father would not deliver me from this difficult trial. Why wouldn’t he just tell me what to do? This decision had eternal consequences, so I felt I deserved some heavenly guidance. But every time I prayed, I simply felt equally peaceful about both choices.
As I pondered this hard decision, I came across the Ensign article “Trusting in the Assurances of the Lord,” by Mindy Anne Leavitt. Like me, Leavitt felt no divine deliverance from her difficult personal trials. However, when she asked God, “‘Is everything going to be all right in my life?’ . . . the answer came swiftly and surely to [her] mind: ‘All is well.’”
I realized that I had been getting an answer to every frustrating prayer: I felt peaceful about both choices. The answer was “all is well.” Even though my life seemed complex and difficult at that moment, I knew everything would be okay. God would always assure me that he was aware of me and was taking care of me, even when life was hard. As Leavitt explains, “Immediate delivery from our trials is not always the Lord’s answer to our pleadings. Instead, He may bless us with invaluable moments of assurance.”
Although God did not give me a direct answer, he did give me the calm assurance that “all is well.” And when I finally made my decision to stay and marry PJ, I felt that assurance over and over again. God may not always give you an answer to a difficult decision, but he will assure you “all is well.”
To learn about the four important facets of the Lord’s assurances, read “Trusting in the Assurances of the Lord,” by Mindy Anne Leavitt.
—Katie Stanley, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
To discover how your testimony can assure you of God’s love, read the general conference talk “Assurance That Comes from Knowing,” by Elder Angel Abrea.
Check out President Henry B. Eyring‘s talk “Adversity” to learn how you can know that everything will be okay even during difficult trials.
Read “God Helps the Faithful Priesthood Holder,” by President Henry B. Eyring, to find out even more about God’s assurances to us.