Our Heavenly Father really does work in mysterious ways. Our actions (and lack of actions for that matter) have a far greater impact than we could ever imagine.  I recently had an experience that I would like to share that  illustrates this point.

I have a friend who struggles with pornography. I call him a friend now, but I would not have done so a month ago.  It isn’t that I don’t like him; I do. He is nice, sociable, outgoing. A fun guy who I always thought was nice.  But we just didn’t have many interactions.  We knew each other through other people and sometimes would end up spending time together in groups, but otherwise we just said hi when we saw each other, and that was about it. For his privacy we will call him Gary.

Well, I recently made a mistake. I left something up in a place where someone could see it. Something to do with this blog. Gary saw it and immediately told me. At first I felt a feeling of fear. My reaction was to deny it or come up with some reason why it wasn’t what it seemed. But I knew that fear was not something that comes from Heavenly Father. So I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to somehow let things be alright. I was scared Gary would tell someone or ridicule me in some way.

But that prayer brought me peace.  I thanked him for telling me and asked for his discretion and if we could talk about it sometime. He agreed and we met the next night.

As we talked, I very quickly realized that he was ok with me. More than ok actually. He said that he admired me for what I was doing and that he respected me. This was a bit of a shock for me. The people that I have told about this part of my life are always people whom I consider to be good friends.  People who love me and will always love me and will protect me. Here I was talking to some man that I didn’t know NEAR as well as I would like to in order to have that conversation, and he was accepting me.

I should have known better. I know that most people are accepting and loving, but there is always that fear. More and more I find that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints really are kind and loving, especially when it comes to people who have homosexual feelings.  Even people who actively live a gay lifestyle are accepted and befriended.  It is just that the gay culture disagrees with our beliefs, and so they tend to attack Mormons and say that we are hateful and unloving.  I am sorry that I bought into that ideology even a little bit, because I really do know better. Many times I have experienced their love and kindness. But back to the story.

We talked and he asked questions and I answered them. It was a great conversation. I thanked him for his kindness, but then told him that I needed to tell him something in the interest of fairness. A while ago, someone spoke out of turn and told me that Gary struggles with pornography. I never said anything about it to anyone, not even Gary, but I quietly grew to respect him because I knew he was doing what he should as far as avoiding it and trying to change.

I know it came as a shock asI told him that I knew of his struggle but could tell that he was living righteously. We talked about it for a while and after a bit he said “You know?  I think that this was supposed to happen.” He then asked me for a favor. He wanted me to help him in his struggle  against pornography which I gladly agreed to do.  I was honored that he would trust me, because when you think about it, in asking me to help him avoid a serious temptation I have the ability to help him toward his eternal destiny.  The idea is awesome and terrifying and is something I had never thought about before.

So, after I left and went home and thought for a while, I realized that the Lord made this happen. Because I was willing to put my fears aside and have faith in God, he made it possible for me to help a friend. It really is a small thing for me to do, but I know in the end it will help benefit Gary.  I also realized that I needed to have more faith in the good people around me. Too often I look at the negative or think the worst about people, and this helped restore my faith in them.

How could I have known that this was going to happen? I never would have spoke to Gary about my knowledge of his struggle. But now I find that I am in a position to help. Our heavenly Father works in ways that are miraculous and strange, and it is us, the followers of Christ, who are those miraculous and strange ways. He is not physically present on this earth and so He expects us to be His hands in His behalf.

“The missionary experiences of the sons of Mosiah also help us understand how to become instruments in God’s hands. “And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness” (Alma 17:9). We must be willing to journey. The sons of Mosiah were willing to step outside their surroundings and do that which was uncomfortable. Had Ammon not been willing to journey into a foreign land, inhabited by a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people, he never would have found and helped Lamoni and his father, and many Lamanites may have never learned about Jesus Christ.”  –Elder Don R Clark

Step outside of yourself. Lose the fear. With Jesus Christ, all things are possible. Armed with that knowledge, we can move foreward in faith knowing that we will be instruments in the hands of the Lord.