Before I became a missionary, back in October 2009, I had the great privilege to actually play Joseph in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat we did with some of the members of the Church in San Antonio, where I live. Let me tell you--it was literally a dream come true. Since I had first seen the play, I had dreamed of playing the role of Joseph and exemplifying through acting and singing the man to whom I looked as an example of faith, dedication, and courage. As I "grew into" the part I tried to think like Joseph, to act like Joseph, to face difficulties as Joseph would have faced them, and to put my trust in God as he did. I was also preparing myself to dedicate two years of my life to serving God full-time by being a missionary and bringing His truth to other people; this emulation of Joseph really helped me prepare to be a servant of God who had really given it all he had.
It was frustrating for me because, as I underwent the various medical examinations required to submit my application to be a missionary, the physicians discovered various problems I didn't know I had, not the least of which was a slight heart murmur in my left shoulder. How ironic is that--I was trying to prepare my heart for God's work, and the thing holding me back was a murmuring heart! I was, needless to say, a little confused. As I prayed that the condition would be overcome, I felt the reassuring peace of the Lord comforting me and inviting me to be patient with my problems. Despite the peace I felt when I prayed, it wasn't any easier to deal with the delays.
One day at play practice, I got the message loud and clear. I was singing the play's aria, "Close Every Door", when Joseph, thrown wrongfully into prison for standing up for his beliefs, prays to his Heavenly Father and says, in effect, "I trust in your will and your timing, although I may not understand the reasons." As the words and the melodies drifted from my lips, I began to see my situation more clearly: God had not forgotten me. I was going to be alright. He wouldn't ask me to do something and then pull the rug out from under me. I wept, overcome with emotion and gratitude. I sang the last line with as much conviction as I'm sure Joseph had in that prison so long ago:
Children of Israel [God's people] are never alone. I know I shall find my own peace of mind, for we have been promised a land of our own!God had promised me great things, and I knew that I was going to find the reasons and the peace along the way.