I’m not usually a negative person. In fact, ever since I’ve been to school here I’ve kept up my optimism to a point where I haven’t had to experience a true sadness that would cause me to bend my attitude. I found that being positive in any given situation has given me exactly what you would expect: a constant stream of joy. Then finally beginning a week ago, a memory from my past grew within my mind. Something I had done to someone else. It was a cause of guilt, something I felt that I could not go back and fix. With each passing day, the memory grew stronger, almost as strong as it had when I was going through the experience itself. It was weakening to me and caused me great sorrow, and for the first time in many months, I let doubt fill my soul.
As it was tonight after ward prayer, I had been scheduled for a bishop’s interview for the upcoming Wind Symphony tour. As the time was arriving for me to go in, I was shaking all over. The bishop greeted me with his ever-smiling face and kind heart as I brought him my form. “This is it?” he laughed. And then with great difficulty, I decided to relay to him my situation. Had I repented? This was the issue on my mind. After several questions, he told me to forget about it. “I don’t want you think about this anymore. Remember what the Lord spoke? ‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.’ You are forgiven. You must forgive yourself.”
I was not overcome with any feelings of comfort. When I thanked the bishop and went to my room, I poured out my distress onto my bed. How could this happen? The words of the bishop could not seep through my doubt as I was sure that my situation was not helped. I played through Grieg’s elegiac melodies and some of my own. Then I thought of what just might help. Tunnel singing was beginning at that moment, and I knew I should go.
The torrents of wind blew like never before this chilly evening, and as I arrived toward the mass of students, the a cappella hymns had already begun. I had come alone, and as I drew near the crowd full of its circles of friends, I was too far at the end to recognize any faces that I knew. While joining in the melody, I stood by the side wondering what perhaps I should do. Then the circle nearest me opened up and indirectly invited me in. I stepped in, not knowing who these people were or what they thought of me. But I remained, though with my uncertainty, because I knew that I needed to be a part of this. The next hour came and I still sang but spoke to none of them. Then it was time for the traditional “I Need Thee Every Hour”. The circle in which I had placed myself put their arms around me and we sang together. And for all the hymns we had been singing, I felt peace. I felt the love of my Savior, and it was the same love I felt every time I let my fears go and worshiped the Lord in song. I felt the love of the people around me, whose names I did not know. And I felt, just maybe to try, that I could forgive myself and move on in life.
Tunnel singing ended and I walked on myself toward my apartment. One of the girls who had been standing opposite of me in the circle rushed up to me and introduced herself. Soon her friends did the same, and I felt all shame of doubt disappear as we connected. They invited me to sing with them every week if I so chose. Though I was sure I would come with others next time, I thanked them for that. I was grateful to experience the kindness of others. Though one may have expected it, not all people are so charitable. And it’s not every day that you get to meet such people.
I am so thankful for what the Lord has given me. I am grateful to be in an environment that cultivates love and encourages acts of charity. And mostly I am blessed to be able to move on in my life and bring myself to what I need to be. I hope someday you too will find that even the deepest holes in which you find yourself in life, there is a way out, but only if you are willing to let it go.