The story of Todd Sylvester is a dramatic one. He ended up making some poor decisions and gradually found himself adrift in life, having lost most of what he once had. Todd finally decided to end his life.
A last-minute intervention stopped him, and Todd began a quest to see if God might actually be real. Slowly, over time, Todd began to see small signs, small interventions, small miracles. Two years after Todd’s heartfelt plea to see if God was real, he finally felt something he had never felt in his life. He felt as if someone were telling him he was home, that God was there, that He knew Todd, and that He loved him.
Through the profound experience, Todd realized that it’s part of life to feel surrounded by darkness so that we can feel the hope of God’s light when it illuminates our way.
Todd’s message is powerful for many people on many levels. You can feel it through the comments from people who have viewed the video.
Aman wrote, “Wow, this video made me stronger.”
“I love this video and the lesson it teaches,” Rebekah added.
Travis said, “The video is so inspirational to me and takes a very realistic look on God in our lives.”
But the most revealing comments came from a surprising source: people who had a situation very similar to Todd’s. His story resonated with so many people who had struggled to feel God’s presence in their lives, people who finally felt the answers come to them on a different time frame and in a different way than they had expected.
Bryden had asked God to help him live a good life. For him, it took almost four years until he felt something, just as Todd had. It struck him in church while others were singing hymns. He realized “everything’s going to be okay and my life is going to be a good one.”
Anna had also struggled for years, begging God to show that He hadn’t forgotten her, that she was worthy. Her answer came during a general conference talk by Elder Andersen, “when all of a sudden, I began to feel something I had never felt in my life. … I couldn’t help but smile. And, just as Todd says, I FELT AS IF SOMEONE WERE HUGGING ME.”
And another commenter admitted a big struggle to know God. “It was hard, but after much study and honest search, I got to know that God is real. I love feeling His real company.”
Many of us struggle, looking for answers to our prayers, sometimes getting frustrated by what we perceive as a void. What we might not know is that God is allowing us to experience the darkness so that we can appreciate the hope of God’s light when it comes.
Listen to more on this topic in our Mormon Channel Daily episode.