HUDDERSFIELD, England — Young adulthood is an exciting time of life full of new experiences, opportunities and even questions. Elizabeth “Libs” Poole, a 30-year-old from northern England, had a vision for her young adulthood. But when things didn’t go as planned, she started to have questions.
“It’s not how I expected my life to pan out,” Libs said. Over the years, she’s watched many of her friends marry and have children and wondered when that time was going to come for her. “Sometimes we have this vision for ourselves that life is going to be different than how it is, and it can make you feel really low.”
As she’s tried to make the best out of her situation, Libs said she’s experienced both highs and lows. “There have been times where I’ve felt it’s been quite difficult and been a bit of a burden,” she said.
Through it all, Libs kept things in perspective by remembering that “it’s human nature that we go through peaks and troughs.”
Although things in Libs’ life haven’t gone as planned, she’s always had faith that God has a plan for her. During times of darkness and seasons of uncertainty, Libs has reflected on the times when she’s felt God near her.
“If I feel alone … I can look at those experiences and think ‘I know I wasn’t alone there, and I know that I have my Savior and my Heavenly Father,’” she said.
Through her search for answers to the questions weighing on her soul, Libs said she hasn’t always felt Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ close to her. There have been times when she’s needed to “get to work” and do things on her own. Yet through it all, she’s kept the faith that They’ll be there when she really needs Them.
Having grown up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Libs has always known deep down that she’s been on the right path. “I had questions growing up, but I always knew it was true,” she said. “Having that foundation of a strong testimony really helps for dark moments that come along.”
Libs is not the only one who has experienced those dark moments. As a young boy living in upstate New York in 1820, Joseph Smith had moments of darkness as he wondered where he could find the truth he was desperately searching for. His prayers were answered as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Him in a vision, telling him that he would be an instrument in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth.
As the Church commemorates the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, many members of the Church, including Libs, have reflected on the prophet’s experience. Libs’ testimony of the gospel, however, did not come from a spectacular vision or a single monumental experience.
“I’ve not had any big crazy experiences,” she said, “but I’ve had so many little times that could be really easy to discount.”
Although small, these experiences have turned out to be very significant in the process of her conversion. “It’s so important to remember those little things because they are the things that have built my testimony,” she said. “If I forget them now, then I’m not really sure where I’d be without them.”
If young adults are searching for answers to questions and are wondering how they might receive revelation, they can take heart in Libs’ words: “Remember that it comes by small and simple things,” she said. “It’s OK if it’s something really tiny, it’s still just as meaningful as anything that might happen to anybody else that’s this big, wonderful experience.”
Libs and her family are faithful members of the Church in a place where many converts joined the Church in the 1800s and left their homes to go to America. As Libs reflected on those early Saints and the sacrifices they made, she said, “If they could do such a huge thing, then I can stay here and be faithful and true and hopefully make them feel proud; their sacrifice wasn’t for nothing.”