If we have desires to serve, we are called to His work. Indeed, the work of the ministry is to act as He would, blessing others and submitting our will to His.
At the beginning of October, I got online and purchased two tickets to the BYU Homecoming Spectacular, a musical event to be held in the Marriott Center starring multiple famous LDS guest artists, such as Gladys Knight and Vocal Point. When I was purchasing the tickets, I decided that in a few weeks, when the day of the show drew closer, I would try to meet a special girl to invite to watch the Spectacular with me.
The week of the Spectacular approached, and the thought came to me several times that I needed to find a girl to invite. However, that same week, I started a second job that required me to work late into the night, and in addition, I got caught up in obligations to several volunteer projects.
When the day of the show arrived, I suddenly realized that I still hadn’t invited anyone to come with me! By that time, it was too late to ask any girl to come, since the majority of them were planning on going to the Homecoming dance, which was that same evening. Besides, even if they weren’t going to the dance, I thought to myself, I didn’t know any girls well enough to ask them on such short notice.
At 6:30 pm, an hour before the show, I decided to pray for help to know who I could take to the show with me, whether it be a girl or a roommate or any other friend. A few names came to mind and I set out to invite them.
First, I went to the apartment next door to see if Joseph was home. His roommates said that he was out. I tried Michael, in the adjacent building, but he declined the invitation, saying it wasn’t his cup of tea, but he thanked me for the offer. I went to Jacob’s apartment, at the very end of the complex, but his roommates said he was working.
At 7:00 pm, with only a half hour left before the show, I called Jeff, who usually accepted my invitations, but he told me that he would have to pass. An MTC friend, Joey, came to mind, so I called him, but he already had plans for that evening. I could still sense the appreciation in Joey’s voice, however, as he told me he loved me before we hung up.
I went to see Joel, who lived at the top of my building, but right before I knocked on his door, my own roommate Austin came to mind, so I went back downstairs to invite him. He told me he wasn’t up to it, so I ran back up the four flights of stairs and invited Joel to come. Joel told me he had homework to do, but he smiled and told me that he would love to have gone.
Defeated, I began my walk alone toward the Marriott Center. As I walked, I started to wonder why Heavenly Father wouldn’t give me someone who was lonely or stressed or discouraged so that I could treat them to a show and help them realize that someone loved them. Didn’t God know my heart? Didn’t he know that I sincerely wanted to minister to one of His children? Why hadn’t he given me a correct prompting to knock on someone’s door at the opportune moment in order to lift their spirits?
Despite all these thoughts, however, I ultimately decided that I would not be upset. Even though the show was expensive, too, I knew that I could always work to make back the money that was lost on the unused ticket.
I stopped for a minute at a crosswalk to check my phone and see one of the girls from the ward had replied to a message I’d sent her. My phone was blank, but then a thought that had crossed my mind several times in the previous hour came back to me. Perhaps, I thought, there would be families standing outside the Marriott Center asking for extra tickets, kind of like they do at General Conference or football games. Deciding I would try to sell my extra ticket back, I started walking again.
When I arrived at the Marriott Center, I made a circle around the outside of the building to see if anyone was calling out for tickets. Soon, however, I could see that nobody was in need. Turning around, I walked back to the front of the building and joined the end of the check-in line.
Suddenly, I heard a voice behind me that asked, “Does anyone know where we can get tickets?”
I turned around to face a young man, my heart beginning to swell.
I asked him, “How many tickets do you need?”
“Just one,” he said. “I’m here alone. My friend is performing in the show and she asked me to come watch her.”
Scarcely believing my ears, I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my extra ticket. He was in shock and expressed his gratitude profusely. We waited together in line, and we chatted and got to know each other as we checked in and made our way to our seats.
Thomas, my new friend, loved the entire show with all its songs and dances, and he even pointed out his friend to me when she came out on stage. I also enjoyed myself, and I was happy to have a new friend to sit by, too.
After the show, we parted ways, and he thanked me again sincerely. I told him I was happy to have been able to meet him.
At times, Heavenly Father allows us to make mistakes in order to accomplish His divine purposes. He allowed me to visit and call multiple people who weren’t available, which placed me in line at the exact second that Thomas arrived behind me. If I hadn’t had stopped by each of those apartments, or paused at the crosswalk to check my phone, or made my loop around the Marriott to check for ticket-callers, I would have been one or two or three people farther away from Thomas in line and wouldn’t have heard his request for a ticket.
In addition, these “incorrect promptings” allowed me to to visit and call multiple friends who, perhaps, needed to be reminded that they were loved and thought about.
God trusts you and me to be His hands. If we have desires to serve, we are called to His work. Indeed, the work of the ministry is to act as He would, blessing others and submitting our will to His. At times, He will push us to our limit to see how faithful we will be. However, in the end, He will always allow us to succeed, for “It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand” (President Thomas S. Monson).
May we ever remember our charge “to visit the weary, the hungry, and cold” and “point them to Zion and life evermore” (Hymns, #319).
May we also remember that the Savior is at the helm of the “Old Ship Zion”, and that as we put our lives into His control, He will make us His hands for the blessing of His children.