Spencer Allen was attending Idaho State University Vo-Tech in Pocatello, Idaho, when he was 17 years old.
Whenever he could, Allen would hitchhike a ride to his home 50 miles away to attend church with his parents. But there were weekends when it was too cold to find a ride home, so he stayed on campus — and he never went to church.
“I was very active at home, totally inactive at school,” he said.
That’s how Allen, who now works in A/V services and teleprompting at BYU-Idaho, described his Church activity and the feelings of loneliness that he struggled with during that time.
“I knew I was supposed to be in church, and I was sure everyone at home just assumed I was going while at school,” he said. “No one ever asked, no one ever checked up on me.”
When he turned 19, his home ward bishop called him at school and told him to come home so he could be ordained an elder and they could send him on a mission. Five months later, he found himself on the third floor of the Salt Lake City Mission home watching his parents drive away and wondering, “Did I really want to go on a mission?”
It was then that Allen found himself truly on his own and had to learn whether or not he had a testimony and what he was going to do with his life. “What did Heavenly Father want me to do?” he asked.
Following his mission, Allen became involved in everything at school and never missed attending his student ward on Sundays. “What changed?” he said. “I had discovered Heavenly Father loved me and all I had to do was seek His will in my life. … I had sought to align my will with God’s will, and I was happy.”
This was the subject Allen spoke on in a devotional held in the Manwaring Center on Aug. 7.
Following Heavenly Father’s will also means being willing to accept His timing, Allen taught. This was something he learned during the early years of his marriage while seeking work. It seemed that every job that appeared perfect for him would either be filled suddenly or withdrawn.
“I was looking heavenward, wondering what I had done to offend God that this was happening to me,” Allen said. “What was going on? Why were these perfectly matched jobs slipping through my fingers? Why were my prayers going seemingly unanswered? I’d been good!”
At that same time, an acquaintance suggested that he apply for a job at Virginia Tech, all the way across the country. He put it off for months, but at the insistence of his wife, he mailed an old resume and handwritten cover letter, thinking nothing would come of it.
It turned out that Virginia Tech had been looking for a technical director for an All American musical performing group and wanted someone that could fit that image. Just when they had given up hope, Allen’s resume appeared.
Allen was convinced to consider the job and, after watching the show group at a performance, “I received a very powerful witness that I was to move there and take the job,” he said.
He worked there for 13 wonderful years, he said. “Thirty years later I realized, while cleaning out a stack of rejection letters from that time period, that while seeking heaven’s will and help in my employment, that we must abide heaven’s timing as well. Although I was being considered for many good jobs that fit me, Heavenly Father knew the best job was still in the future, not quite ready for me yet.”
By looking back, Allen has learned that Heavenly Father is interested in all aspects of life if one but seeks His will and timing.