Good Fruit

Good Fruit

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

Good Fruit

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

1 Pet. 1:7

I was twenty-one years old, standing over my mother and trying desperately to get a response from her. My father had died four years earlier—and even though my parents had separated, I still felt the pain of losing him. Now, with tears streaming down my face, I knew I had just lost my mother as well.

I was so angry with the Lord! Silently, I screamed, I have lived righteously! My mother was a good woman who brought me to a knowledge of the gospel. Why are you doing this to me? And why are you doing it again?

I was heartbroken. I was lonely. And I had just lost my best friend. I can’t begin to explain the anger that I felt. In response, I turned my back on the Lord and refused to have anything to do with the Church. I no longer wanted the Holy Ghost as a companion. I figured that I was hurting, so I was going to make my Heavenly Father hurt, too.

A year later, I got a summer job in a local electronics factory between years at college. My boss was a cheerful young man who was well-liked and respected—by others, that is. Of course, I disliked him, because he was so happy. Since I was unhappy, I always tended to surround myself with unhappy people. Eventually, though, we became friends—and he even got me to smile a few times.

Then it happened: He asked me out on a date. I refused, of course—who was I to deserve to feel happy again? From then on, I went totally out of my way to avoid him. But something was happening inside, and I know now that my Heavenly Father was behind it.

At that time, though, I sure didn’t recognize His influence. “I don’t like him!” I would scream to Heavenly Father. “He’s not my type!” But then it happened: Like a bolt out of the blue, I realized that I was in love with him. That scared me: I didn’t want to be in love, but in the end the Lord always wins, and I realized I couldn’t fight it anymore.

One evening, after a long friendship, he told me that he loved me—and I told him I felt the same way. I knew then that I had to face who I actually was and what I had wanted since I had been a young woman: I wanted to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity to my eternal companion.

Was he the one?

I finally told him I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was expecting the usual remarks—in England, Mormons are known as the strange people who won’t drink coffee or tea. Instead, he expressed a desire to know more. I then explained that I was still very angry at Heavenly Father, and that I wanted nothing to do with the Church. Still, he wanted to know more.

He asked for the missionaries, and he began taking the discussions. After the final discussion, he was baptized. I couldn’t believe it! I was so angry! I didn’t want to go back to Church, but I felt I needed to support him, so I slowly became active again.

That was five years ago. We are happily married with two beautiful children, Brandon and Megan. I am so happy that they were both born in the covenant: My husband and I were sealed in the Preston England Temple. I love my family dearly, and I recognize each of them as a blessing from our Heavenly Father.

My husband now serves in the bishopric, and I can honestly say I am happier than I have ever been. I know the Lord works in mysterious ways; I often reflect on the scripture that promises us that even though our trials may be difficult now, they will eventually yield good fruit. My experience is one that helps me remember that whenever I am confronted with trials, I need to turn toward—not away from—my Father in Heaven.

Pamela Coyle

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