Latter-day Saint Life

Lift up your voice

The Shepherd's Path fixed YSK 11x14.jpg
The Shepherd's Path by Yongsung Kim
Image courtesy of Havenlight

Growing up, I often asked myself the question “Why am I here?” My life was hard, and despite my best efforts to fit in, I felt alone and without hope or purpose. But in my early thirties, I was led by God to two important discoveries: an Autism diagnosis and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Following my baptism, I felt a connection to God and His other children for the first time. The more I shared my story with others, the more I realized I had never been alone. I simply hadn’t recognized the presence of my loving Savior through life’s biggest challenges. God’s grace was always there (See “My life with Autism and finding hope in Christ”).

In fact, God’s grace has always been there for all of us—and He often extends it through other people. The stories in this issue highlight a few of those individuals who open the door for others to feel less alone. Sofia Detjen is a remarkable young woman whose prodigious talent for drumming has catapulted her into the spotlight (see “She's played with members of AC/DC and The Killers. How faith helped this teen drum her way to Harvard and Berklee”). While her musical accomplishments are impressive, I was more inspired by the self-confidence she draws from seeking to live in partnership with the Savior. I was also uplifted by the story of Brent and Tauni Beck, a couple who relied on their faith and family to create games that help people make happy memories and lasting friendships (see “A winning hand: How Grandpa Beck’s Games has risen to success by dealing fun to families worldwide”). And I loved seeing Yongsung Kim’s joyful, iconic paintings of the Savior while learning about the artist’s discovery of faith that shifted his perception of himself and the world for the better (see “How artist Yongsung Kim finds purpose in painting the happy Christ”).

These stories remind me that as we open our hearts to each others’ experiences, we bring healing into the world: healing from loneliness, healing from our uncertainty—even healing from self-doubt. The peace that comes from living the law of Christ will bring us closer to one another and to our Savior. I pray His peace fills your heart and that each story in this issue inspires you to lift up your voice and share your gifts for the glory of Jesus Christ and His Church. Together, we can work to heal isolation and bring an added measure of peace to God’s children.

In faith,

Jon Propper

Contributing writer

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