Why am I here is a question that has been asked since the beginning of time. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has answers to this question, but I do not want to focus on the question of why am I here on earth, I want to talk about why we are where we are today?
When we would train the new missionaries that came to the Indiana Indianapolis Mission, I would always tell them that the Lord called them to serve in Indiana for a purpose and challenged them to go find out what the purpose was and to fulfill it.
Now that my wife and I have returned home from our mission along with missionaries from missions all over the world, I would like to ask the question why are you here (wherever you are)? Just as the missionaries were called to their mission assignment for a reason, there is a purpose for being where we are now. The challenge is to find out what that purpose is and fulfill it.
My favorite quote from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretes is when Dumbledore tells Harry “it is not your abilities that determine who you are, it’s your choices”. I can testify that if we rely on the Lord as we make our choices that He will guide you to the place where he needs you the most. In a devotional to the students of BYU-Idaho, Elder Bradley Foster said:
“I believe, Brothers and Sisters, one of the hardest things you will ever do in life is to learn to identify and receive direction from the Holy Ghost. You have very difficult decisions to make and unanswered questions in your life right now. Who should you marry? What career should you choose? How can you increase your self-worth? Does the Lord love you? You need to understand that He has placed you here on earth for a purpose.
“As you struggle through those things, you are experiencing growth and it will be for your good. So don't be impatient with yourself or with this wonderful plan. In your effort to receive revelation as you counsel together as husbands and wives, as families, or as friends, don't exclude Him. Don't take a side door and say that He doesn't answer your prayers. Because He will answer your prayers. Maybe not immediately, but He will answer them-line upon line, precept upon precept, and prayer upon prayer.9 He's trying to help you grow and to become what you need to become.” (So, Where Did You Put the Tigers?)
We may not understand why we are directed to go to the school we chose, or why we felt prompted to accept the job we did or even why we bought the home in the neighborhood we did; but as the years go by we will come to see the Lord’s hand in our decisions. It is much like Ammon and the other son’s of Mosiah when they looked back on their mission to the Lamanites, when Ammon said: “could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?” (Alma 26:1)
Looking back on your full-time mission, or whatever experience you have had; you can see how the Lord blessed you as you brought The Gospel of Jesus Christ to those you taught and those you served as a representative of Jesus Christ. So too, you have been directed by The Lord to live in the area you currently live in. You can be an influence for good to your neighbors, co-worker, and those you serve in your callings in The Church.
Proverbs teaches: “Trust in the Lord with thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding”. (Proverbs 3:5) When we trust in the Lord to direct us, we do not need to wonder why we are at this particular school, this job, or this town; we will know that He has a purpose for us and we need to go find it and fulfill it.
Your comments and questions are welcome