The following is excerpted from January’s issue of the Liahona. To read the rest of the article, CLICK HERE

As a single woman yearning for marriage and children for many years, I desired and believed that a fundamental purpose of my life was to achieve the ideals of family life set forth in the family proclamation. Yet despite my most sincere efforts, I could not seem to make them happen the way I believed they should. That struggle was painful.

At the time, I could not see the miraculous work the Lord was bringing about in my heart through that struggle.

Looking back, my unfulfilled yearnings played a sacred role in inclining my heart toward my Redeemer to seek peace and direction He alone could provide and deepen my trust in His perfect love and enabling power. Daily prayer and scripture study, and especially the words of general conference, became a lifeline of hope and direction. I felt compelled to turn to the words of my patriarchal blessing—and other priesthood blessings—to find love and direction that were personal to me from my Eternal Father.

As I poured out my heart to the Lord, even when I was tempted to turn away in bitterness, sacred impressions came to my mind and heart that assured me He knew where I was, that my life had a beautiful plan, and that I could trust Him. Covenant belonging3 to my Redeemer became a conduit of profound peace and joy surpassing any other sources of fulfillment or happiness.

I came to see that though I had believed the purpose of my life was to achieve my dreams of the ideal family, the Lord was making possible what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called the fundamental purpose of mortality. Quoting King Benjamin, he explained, “Perhaps the fundamental purpose … is to become ‘a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord,’ which will require us to become ‘as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.’”4

My need for the help and strength of the Savior led me to seek and experience His heart of submission, meekness, humility, patience, and love. In the process I was changed by His enabling power. And in truth, that was what I most deeply wanted. What had seemed so “un-ideal” had actually paved the way for the most beautiful “ideal.”

My friend and colleague Ty Mansfield described a similar truth. As a man who experiences same-sex attraction, Ty witnessed the spiritual growth that can take place as we anchor our lives in Jesus Christ and willingly surrender our entire hearts to Him, allowing Him to consecrate all difficult experiences for our gain. For Ty, that began as the Spirit taught him “that whether I ever married, I was infinitely loved and accepted by God. My responsibility was to continue to live one day at a time while seeking and following the guidance of the Spirit.”5 And eventually, trusting God led Ty to enter into a joyful, beautiful, eternal marriage to his wife.

To read the rest of the article, CLICK HERE