There are many examples in the scriptures of the Lord relocating His people: Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, the Jaredites being led to the promised land, and Lehi and his family being called to travel to the promised land are just a few examples. In these instances, the Lord is calling on the people to have faith in Him and His plan. At these times, He doesn’t tell them what they are to expect and doesn’t give them reasons they have to go to that particular place. The Lord requires them to follow Him. He does this to bring them closer to Him and to strengthen their faith in Him. We, too, are called by the Lord at times to make this same sacrifice in our lives. He will ask us to leave a place or part of our lives in which we are comfortable and content in, and move out of that comfort zone and take a leap of faith. Sometimes this is when we are asked to move from our homes and relocate our families. Other times we leave the comfort of our families to go off to college or we leave to go serve missions. At these times, the Lord knows that we have reached the highest potential possible in the place we are and wants to stretch us to the next level.
I have experienced two of these changes and will be experiencing the third soon. Last fall, I moved across the country by myself, leaving my old Kentucky home to go to college at BYU. This was hard because I was very comfortable at home, and I had my friends and family. Looking back at the summer after I had graduated high school, I have realized that there wasn’t much left for me there. I spent the whole summer working for college money and then spent all my spare time getting ready for college. I know that I have grown so much by leaving home and being forced to develop independence. It has helped me to look to the Lord for more answers and comfort. To my surprise, my family moved to Utah at the beginning of this year. My dad had been looking for a job, and the only one that worked out was the one out West. Everything worked out so perfectly, and the job offer was more than we could ask for. So it has been very hard, but my family has moved out and are now living in Utah. I recently talked to my mom, and she has had a hard time with the move because she had to leave friends and family behind. She is wondering why the Lord asked them to move to a place where she feels alone. We have also talked and discovered many blessings that we can already see from the move. We also talked about how we had been living there for 9 years, and maybe the Lord has a need for my family here and needs them to grow through this move into a “wilderness.” I am also going to leave on a mission later this year. As I have been filling out my papers and preparing for this experience, it has been exciting but I have also felt stretched. I know that I will have to rely on the Lord greatly through this experience.
The Lord leads His people on journeys into the “wilderness” so that they have to rely on Him. Through this, they can progress and grow in ways that they may not have been able to where they were previously. Something that we also can remember is that it is not as much about where we are going or what we are to accomplish, but it is about the journey. We need to focus less on the finish line and more on the track under our feet. The journey is what the Lord uses to prepare us and to teach us things that we will need for future experiences. We may feel that we know what the outcome is or that we know the end when really the Lord has something else in store for us. This is applicable to the journey the Jaredites took. “And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord had preserved for a righteous people” (Ether 2:7). They did not know that the Lord was going to have them travel much further than they had pictured. They did not know the outcome of their journey. Don’t get so caught up in the end and what you may think is the end or you may miss the next step in your journey. I know that the Lord has a plan for each of us and that we can become tools in His hands if we rely on Him and show faith in His plan for us.