I believe that simply by listening we can make a huge difference in a person’s life. Four years back, almost to the day, I met someone whose life I would change and have my life changed in turn. The summer of 2004 I was headed to Northeastern Idaho to attend college at Brigham Young University – Idaho. I was paired up with some roommates from many different parts of the nation. One of these guy’s name was Jed Parker. At first glance one would say that Jed was quiet and kept to himself. After understanding that he was few of many students that were not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one might understand why. However, this was not the only reason that Jed was a loner, and after getting to know him I would understand exactly why. Jed has always been a very bright young man and always very contemplative. He often would grab his headphones and just disappear for hours at a time. Over the time we spend together I was invited to go with him. We would grab our skateboards and just go somewhere without destination and talk about spiritual matters. He was very frustrated at all the students that haggled him constantly about why he was at a private school and not a part of the church. I later came to find that Jed had been studying about the church for many years but didn’t feel like he had any friend or support if he indeed decided to join the LDS church. His sister was a member and the only support that he had, but he was just sick and tired of being told to do things. We became very good friends and continued to be roommates through the next couple of years of school. We continued to go on evening walks with our skateboards and talk about the nature of God and the nature of mankind. One day after the haggling had seemed to dissipate Jed approached me. With a concerned look in his eye and a nervous yet excited tone to his voice, he expressed a strong desire to serve God. He realized that this could only be done by becoming a member of God’s church. Through his prayers and study it was shown to him that he should be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was astonished by this comment and almost didn’t believe him at first but when he asked me if I would perform the baptism an overwhelming joy came over me. I was honored and pleased at Jed’s decision. He expressed his gratitude for my friendship and ability to listen to him. He had felt that I was the only one that truly cared and he could trust. He was baptized on July 24, 2005. Since then we have gone our separate was but have always kept in touch. He is now currently serving an ecclesiastical mission for the LDS church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Many times Jed has told me about how grateful he is for my friendship and I have expressed similar gratitude. Through out this experience we have grown a very strong friendship. It’s great to think that by simply listening one can have such a great impact on the other’s life.
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