Help for Life Challenges

This Latter-day Saint author has the best advice for finding hope when life isn’t a storybook

A woman looks at the Payson Utah Temple.
Author Rebecca Connolly hasn’t found her own love story yet, but here’s how she remains a believer in “the hope of the happily ever after.”
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As humans, we love stories—especially ones with happy endings. But when we’re in the middle of our own journeys, it can be difficult to know whether our outcomes will be joyful, too.

Latter-day Saint author Rebecca Connolly recently spoke with Morgan Pearson, host of the All In podcast, about trusting in the Lord’s ability to author our life stories.

Rebecca Connolly
Rebecca Connolly is the author of more than two dozen novels, including Hidden Yellow Stars, her most recent historical fiction book.

Rebecca is currently single and hasn’t found her own love story yet, but she believes in “the hope of the happily ever after” and the Lord’s perfect timing.

“I think if life had gone the way that I thought it was going to, the way I would have planned, writing might never have happened for me as a career,” she says. “The Lord has a plan in place for me, and every time I try to steal the pen, I learn it’s not a good idea.”

This faith in the Lord doesn’t mean passively waiting for our happy endings, either. Especially when someone is single and doesn’t want to be, there can be confusing messages about how to move forward—such as suggestions to care less about dating and marriage or even to let go of personal dreams.

But in the face of unexpected paths, maintaining hope can keep us focused on God and “anxiously engaged” in good causes (see Doctrine and Covenants 58:27).

“I honestly believe that being single, in so many ways, is not something that anybody can control, but the important thing is taking control of the things that you do have the ability to influence,” Morgan says.

For Rebecca, focusing on temple covenants has been a comfort and guiding light. She says:

“As a single woman, I realize that I can only progress so far by myself, but I also know that a loving Heavenly Father would not limit me. … And so, should I pass through mortality single, then that’s okay. It’s not going to limit me in the hereafter. Our Father in Heaven has a plan, and so long as I live worthy of my covenants, then I will have the promised blessings.

“And the covenants that I’ve made in the temple become [not only] the anchors to my ship, the stakes to my tent, the things that keep me grounded in the gospel, but also the things that help to keep me looking up, looking heavenward, looking for the good when things are hard.

“Life is hard. It just is. … [But] the temple is where we are reminded of the proper perspective, the proper order, the proper focus.”

▶You may also like: Use these 3 ideas to deepen your temple worship and find more happiness

Rebecca also finds it helpful to remember that our covenants with the Lord are individual, even related to ordinances that involve other people, like marriage sealings. “Each ordinance is one by one, just as we come to our Savior one by one,” she says. “Our promises are … one by one, and we will be judged according to the lives that we live and how well we live up to our individual covenants.”

And as we come to know the Lord better through turning our lives over to Him, He will write better endings than we could ever envision for ourselves (see Doctrine and Covenants 58:3–4).

“Let His plan be the one that you seek because, from personal experience, trying to write your plan on top of His doesn’t work out very well if you want to be content and if you want to learn and grow in the way that He seeks for you,” Rebecca says. “You will find that He knows you well enough to know what is best. And He loves you enough to watch you grow.”

Hear more from Rebecca Connolly on the All In podcast, available in the player below or on your favorite streaming platform. 

Hidden Yellow Stars

Read Rebecca Connolly’s most recent book, based on a remarkable true story. It follows the lives of Ida Sterno and Andrée Geulen as they rescue Jewish children, keeping carefully coded records to allow reunification with the parents at the end of World War II—even if it might cost them their own lives. Available at Deseret Book and

▶You may also like: A new film about missionaries’ daring WWII escape is coming—read 3 miracles behind the movie

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