"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
November 7, 2014
Gratitude for an LDS Family Rescuing a Teenager in Despair
by Jeff Lindsay

I almost wept in gratitude after a recent phone call to an American teenager I know who has been in our prayers almost daily for a long time.

We knew she was smart and had vast potential, but it was being wiped out by drugs, horrific friends, and a lengthy list of tragic problems. This choice young lady in a broken family had been on a downward spiral, and it looked like there would be years of grief ahead. Thank God for a couple of heroic Latter-day Saints who took on the risk of rescuing her.

So far it looks like a real miracle underway, an amazing story of rescuing a lost soul. She was leaving home and was about to trapped in a hopeless situation, when the LDS family with their own children and challenges brought her into their home and gave her a chance to find herself again.

To my amazement, it seems to be working. She's happy, hopeful, holding down a job, saving money, making so much progress and catching the joy of living well. In a new environment away from the worst influences in her life and with loving coaching, she was able to see that she could change and regain control over her life.

The rescue, to me, is a miracle. It is a touching example of what I like best about the teachings of the Church, namely, the idea that each soul is a daughter or son of God with infinite potential and the power to change, with God's help.

The Gospel expands our imagination. It helps us imagine that the drug addict with a criminal record and abundant bad behavior is worth loving and helping. It helps us dare believe that change is possible.

It helps us take on risk to reach out to others when we might normally want to just lock up our doors and stay away. It helps us defy the world's logic that "everybody is doing it" or "a little sin is perfectly OK" and strive to live better each day.

But the results of such expanded imagination are far from imaginary. Although disappointment is common when dealing with mortals, sometimes, as with this young lady, the results are miraculous.

Thanks to all of you who dare to love and serve those in trouble in spite of the logical temptation to stay away. Thanks to all of you who love, pray for, and reach out to those who seem lost. They can be rescued, and whether or not they respond to your efforts, they are infinitely worth rescuing and loving.

Thanks especially to a brave LDS family who reached out to a lost young lady and brought her back. It was inspiring chatting with her and also the LDS parents.

It was so wonderful to hear the many details of her story. More wonderful than I imagined was possible. She'll stay in our prayers for a long time. The deep wounds of the past don't vanish easily, and the traps the adversary sets for us are many. But I'm so thrilled at this chance she has been given and the results I see so far. A miracle!

For more from Jeff Lindsay, see Mormanity at http://mormanity.blogspot.com and his Mormon Answers section at http://jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/.

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About Jeff Lindsay

Jeff Lindsay has been defending the Church on the Internet since 1994, when he launched his LDSFAQ website under JeffLindsay.com. He has also long been blogging about LDS matters on the blog Mormanity (mormanity.blogspot.com). Jeff is a longtime resident of Appleton, Wisconsin, who recently moved to Shanghai, China, with his wife, Kendra. He works for an Asian corporation as head of intellectual property. Jeff and Kendra are the parents of 4 boys, 3 married and the the youngest on a mission.

He is a former innovation and IP consultant, a former professor, and former Corporate Patent Strategist and Senior Research Fellow for a multinational corporation.

Jeff Lindsay, Cheryl Perkins and Mukund Karanjikar are authors of the book Conquering Innovation Fatigue (John Wiley & Sons, 2009).

Jeff has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and is a registered US patent agent. He has more than 100 granted US patents and is author of numerous publications. Jeff's hobbies include photography, amateur magic, writing, and Mandarin Chinese.

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