There are people all around us every single day who wake up in total emptiness. There are people who wake up consumed in heartache. There are people who wake up in fear, in pain, in worry, in apathy, in sadness. These people are everywhere—they may be your friends, your next-door neighbors, your co-workers, the woman walking her dog, the man driving the bus. Perhaps you may even be one of them.
When things are going well in life, it is easy to forget that these people exist. However, I will tell you that there have been times in my life where I have been one of these people. I know what it feels like to wake up in the morning with that pit of emptiness and heartache which makes you dread facing any form of reality. I understand what it means to wake up and ask the question, When am I ever going to feel truly happy? If there is anything I hate in this world, it is that feeling: emptiness. No one should have to wake up feeling empty. No one should have to live their life weighed down by the cruel thought of, what is the point?
And that, my friends, is why I am here! I don’t want anyone to have to wake up that way. That is why I have left everything behind to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people in New York. You see, people notice us on the street—two young girls with black name tags bearing the name of Jesus Christ—and a majority of them automatically discount us. Oh, another religion, they say. I don’t want to be bothered, they say. On a day to day basis, it is not uncommon for me to face ridicule or rejection. But despite all this, I keep spreading my message. Because what they don’t understand is I have what they need!
I know the cure to those feelings. I know the truth about who I am, why I am here, and who I can become through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that life is worth living, that there is a way to find lasting peace and happiness, and that I do have a loving Savior who walks by my side every single day. So do you! There is nothing that can separate us from the magnificent love and support of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. And because of these things I have come to know, I now wake up every day with purpose and gladness.
I still have challenges. I still struggle. But now, every trial suddenly has meaning. Every adversity is worth overcoming. My soul has been filled with the light and love of Christ, and for that reason I will never give up! I can relate to the prophet Alma of old, who when his own soul was once racked with torment, he: “remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.” (Alma 36:17-21)
And so I leave with you my invitation: Come to the Savior. Let Him fill you. Let Him heal you. My comrades, come and join the ranks as a partaker of the divine light!