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Doesn’t he look happy? Everyone, I’d like you to meet my roommate Justin. Not too long ago Justin wrote a very insightful blog post that I would like to re-post here to my blog. But before posting his thoughts I would just like to say that Justin has become one of my best friends. Although he is still a young buck, behind that huge smile lies some wisdom. I’m always impressed with his ability to listen and to ask the right questions to create understanding. Although he has been going through a rough time, he has handled his situation extremely well. Although what he writes is just words, they really reflect the type of person he really is. Love ya brother! Read directly from his blog here or just keep reading below:

“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.”