It was 6:30 AM and I was waiting in my car for my employer to arrive and open the front door. I was prepared to announce my resignation for what I felt were unreasonable demands that over the next couple of months I would work 7 day weeks to complete an important contract that was behind schedule. The company had been struggling and we were about to incur financial penalties for each day we were late on the contract.
The day before, I sat in my car at the end of a hectic day, contemplating what I had just been told. It would be mandatory, starting next Monday, for all employees to work Saturdays and Sundays until we had caught up with the project.
From the time I was young I had been taught that Sunday was the Lord’s Sabbath and that we would be blessed if we honored and kept it holy by abstaining from worldly labor and reserved it as a day to perform only the Lord’s work. As I prepared to go home and tell Jodi of my predicament I was torn by the fear of losing my job and jeopardizing my family’s only source of income, and obeying the law of the Sabbath. I was committed to God and the gospel of Jesus Christ but I was fearful for my family’s security. Wanting to block the dilemma from my mind I put a CD tape of the scriptures in the tape deck, started the car and began the drive home.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3:10-11) What? I reached up and rewound the tape and listened again to the words of the first chapter that I heard as I started the car. I pushed pause and contemplated what had occured. I listened again. Was this an answer from God to my questioning mind or was it serendipity that I would put in the precise tape at the precise location and receive this council from the Holy Scriptures? I rewound the tape and listened again. The feelings were distinct and grew ever stronger. Was I willing to ‘prove Him now herewith’? Yes, I decided. I would ask. “Father, I believe this is not serendipity. I believe in you. I am determined to go in tomorrow and announce my resignation contingent upon the company’s request that I work weekends. Is this what you want me to do?” “Yes, trust me.” was the reassuring answer.
Jodi was supportive and now here I was, Monday morning, 6:30 AM. The owner pulled up in his car. He waved to me as he got out of the car and walked over to open the front door. I got out and followed him into his office. Before I could sit down he said “Roy, would you be willing to drive to Icon Health and Fitness in Logan this morning and start a contract job there for us? It will entail the use of a company car, gas reimbursement and a Monday to Friday work week. The contract will last for 1 to 2 months. Oh, and by the way, we will pay you an hourly stipend for however long the contract lasts.”
My head was spinning! What was happening? Could this have been arranged any more conveniently? I was sure God was the author. “Yes, absolutely!” I responded.
By the end of 1 and ½ months I had put an additional $500 into our bank account. The contract was complete on a Friday and I was again prepared to drive in bright and early Monday morning to resign. This time I was allowed to voice my resignation, but again I got an unexpected response. I was asked to fly for a week to Littleton, Colorado to begin a contract there and could then come home for the weekend before going back to finish the remainder of the contract. But I would not be reimbursed for and additional weekend flights home. I accepted the first week’s terms and drove home that Friday to make plans for the trip to Littleton.
In the town of Littleton, Colorado is a Mormon temple. I arranged for a hotel just down the road with the intent of making this my attempt to go up to the mountain, “the mountain of the Lord’s house” if you will, to seek the Lord in prayer and determine my course in the wilderness. Think Moses in the Bible or Nephi in the Book of Mormon, as they go up to the mountain to pray. I know, pretty presumptuous but none the less this was my intent.
I had packed my scriptures and carried them on my person onto the plane. I was intent in my purpose. However, as I endeavored to read I became discouraged and distracted. As I got off of the plane I had a determination to no longer be dissuaded from my goal. But with each activity that drew me nearer to my hotel, I felt an ever increasing gloom and illogical fear press vigorously upon me. As the atmosphere became stifling I recognized what was occurring and realized that Satan and his minions were determined that they would not allow this experience to go where I had intended. I almost staggered under the onslaught as I went from the car to my hotel room. Immediately upon entering the room, and not finding any relief from the now tangible spiritual attack I went directly to the couch and opened my scriptures to read and pray, but was so overcome with confusion and jumbled thought that I could not continue. In the back of my mind I remembered Adam, in the temple reenactment, raising his arm to the square and commanding Satan to depart. I arose from the couch, raised my arm to the square and amid a mental cacophony of confusion I said out loud, “Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to depart.” At the moment I started to command, my mind was filled with the most horrible, scream of rage and I shrank and fell to my knees in fear. But instead of cowering, I bowed my head in prayer and pled for God in His mercy and power to deliver me. Within moments, peace began to fill my mind and the feelings of fear and confusion were slowly driven back. I felt the comfort and security of holy angels and the Holy Ghost enter my room and surround me.
The following week flew by. I conversed with the Lord in prayer. We made plans which were confirmed. I would go home and resign and things would work out for the better.
Again, Monday morning, I was at work bright and early. No one else had arrived yet so I sat in the car. As I waited, an unfamiliar car entered the parking lot and parked next to me. The occupant was a former contract employer who worked for Specialized Health Products, Incorporated (SHPI). He asked if there was any way we might be able to begin a project immediately. I responded, “Would you rather hire a full time engineer instead?” The result was a job offer within 24 hours and a 30% increase in pay.
The rest of the story will have to be told in the future but, suffice it to say, The new employment at SHPI in the following 12 years resulted in paying off our home and all our debt. Becoming debt free is not the important part. I bear my testimony that the important part was attributing so many occurrences to God and not just serendipity, and then realizing that He is much more involved in our lives than we may recognize if we are not paying attention and asking in prayer. It can seem like a leap of faith but, when we attribute all good things in our lives to Him, we can come to realize that they really are. Trust in His promises. Study them. Put him to the test and “prove me now herewith” is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, whom I have come to know is mighty to save.
Will you liken this to yourself? What are the purposes of your life’s experiences? “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3. There is so much more in the scriptures that will ultimately lead us back to ‘Them’ if we will believe and allow it. Believe it, start over now and every day, never give up. Start right now. Bow your head and ask in humility if He loves you and if you are worth saving. I know the answer. Now you go and learn.