Saturday, November 5, 2011

What I thought I knew and what I've learned

It is hard to believe it, but one month ago I was engaged to be married to the girl of my dreams.  I've decided I can't dwell on what might have been, that would make this an exceptionally boring blog post! Rather I'd like to share what I feel like I have learned through all of this craziness and I hope that some of it will help the nine people who will actually read this.  Ready? ok let's go....

First of all, I have learned that I cannot always control whether or not the situation I am in is what will bring me the greatest measure of peace, but that it is not the situation I am in that will ultimately bring peace, but the way I choose to react to it.  This is the first of many things I have always intellectually known, but that I have never had to apply in my life until very recently.  It is amazing to me the power the Lord gives each of us to decide to have a positive attitude and to learn in every situation in which we are placed; it is not always easy, but it is always the path that will lead to the greatest good.  I keep remembering what a Sister in my mission once said, she encouraged a congregation of people to "follow the peace." I have come to learn that that does not mean I can always be in a peaceful situation, but that in every situation I have the opportunity to follow the Prince of Peace who I worship with all my heart.

The next important thing I thought I always knew and now have discovered I really do is that I have amazing friends.  God has put some the best people in the world into my life and they will never understand the incredible, salvific influence they have had on my life.  In this category I include my current roommates, my dear friends from the mission who have always inspired me to be the very best, my dear pre-mission friends from high school who have allowed me to grow with them, and of course the best family a person could ever have.  In particular in this crazy circumstance I have gained an appreciation for my dear parents who have supported me in all of my dreams and pursuits and who continue to trust me to learn from all that I have been given.  Chances are if you took the time to read this you are one of those people, so thank you!

The final and most important lesson I have learned from all of this is the incredible power forgiveness has to heal and lift.  I have been painted as vile and evil (I also have fallen in love with palindromes) by people who meant a lot to me and it has been difficult for me to let that go, but as I have, I have found such a tremendous feeling of comfort and empowerment to move forward with faith in the love of Christ.  I have preached the doctrine of forgiveness on countless occasion, and I've always wondered why I have been so drawn to that principle until this month when I have finally had a need to really apply it in my everyday living.  I'm so glad that I have spent time studying opposition and forgiveness, without it I don't know where I would be.  The freedom and release that comes is real, I have experienced it and for that I will always be grateful!

Sorry this wasn't very funny and I don't blame anyone for not reading the whole thing, but it feels so good to write it all down.



  1. I read the whole thing. You're the best ever, Justin Curtis.

  2. It's cool how there really isn't anything that can stop a person in life when they've got the right tools.

  3. Justin, I think you are a catch! You are intelligent, caring, hilarious, etc. Any person would be lucky to know you! This shows how great of a person you are when you can see the bright side of a really crappy situation. It might not always makes sense right away but one day it all will. You are loved & thought about more than you know!

  4. Isn't it awesome what having a testimony helps you get through? Also I second what Courtney said.

  5. Hey thank you all so much! I'm lucky to have friends like you!

  6. Justin, as much as I want to make a snide remark to lighten the lovey-dovey feel that's going on right now (plus that's exactly what I would expect from you), the truth is that we are lucky to have a friend like you. You've been a great example to me through all you're going through and I've learned a lot from watching you day in and day out. (Ok, maybe that sounds a little creeper... but you get it)