Asking of God and finding acceptance

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Josh Hobart, from Palmyra, New York, said he has felt a connection to Joseph Smith as he searches for answers to his own questions. (Karmen Kodia)

PALMYRA, N.Y. — Where do I fit in my social circles? My community? Or even my family? The desire to feel accepted and needed is nothing new, and many young people grapple with finding their place. There isn’t a prescribed method for finding answers to these formative questions because every individual has a unique, personal journey; so how do you find your place?

For Josh Hobart, when he wondered where he fit in, his journey to finding answers wasn’t easy. When he realized that his friends and family couldn’t always provide him the answers that he was looking for, he knew he needed to turn and look elsewhere.

Josh decided to turn to God through prayer.

“I automatically go to prayer and talk to Heavenly Father,” Josh said. “And at the end of the prayer, I’m reassured that everything’s going to work out the way it’s supposed to.”

This does not mean that everything has come easily, and there have been times when Josh has experienced doubt. However, instead of allowing doubt to paralyze him, Josh has come to understand that it is an important part of the process to finding answers.

When his friends have questions and doubts, Josh said he seeks to assure them that they are not alone. “I try to reassure (my friends) that they are accepted and that their doubts are valid because I have the same experiences and the same doubts that they might have,” he said.

Drawing upon the experiences of others can provide great strength in times of uncertainty. Although 200 years have passed, Josh noted that Joseph Smith was dealing with many of the same struggles that young adults face today: he was searching for truth, and he was searching for acceptance in his community and with God.

Instead of allowing his questions and doubts to overcome him, 14-year-old Joseph searched for answers through study. Realizing that he needed to ask God for the answers that others could not give him, Joseph knelt down in prayer and received an answer. The appearance of God and Jesus Christ was not what Joseph was expecting, but it reassured him that everything was going to work out the way it was meant to.

The Sacred Grove, where Joseph prayed and received his glorious answer, is a special place for Josh. In coming to the grove with his own concerns and questions, Josh has received the answers he needs and moves forward with strength and assurance.

 

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