Monday, May 28, 2012

How I Became Famous

Once upon a time, about 7 or 8 months ago, I had a good friend who worked for a magazine called the Ensign.  This magazine happened to be the official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, an organization of which I am a member.

This magazine often publishes faith promoting stories written by its members.  I asked my friend, Heather, (the aforementioned employee of the Ensign) to keep me apprised of what kind of stories they may be looking for.  She let me know that they were looking for stories about learning to act on promptings from the Holy Spirit.

I wrote up a short story about the experience I had while trying to buy a house and how I was lead to find my wife.  I filled out several different forms saying that I consent to the printing of my story, that I allow the church to distribute my story and a few other things I don't remember.  Shortly thereafter they sent me back a slightly edited version of my story. (Edited for length, primarily.)  They asked me to approve the edits and then it was made official that I would be published in the June 2012 edition of the Ensign.

About a month later, my bishop came up to me and said, "I hear you're a writer."  At first I wasn't sure what he was talking about.  Then he let me know that he had heard I was being published in the Ensign.  It turns out that the Ensign contacted him to do a background check on me and make sure I was a member of the church in good standing.  Who would've thought?

I was really excited about it, but since it was so far away my mind became occupied on other things and I sort of forgot about it.  Fast forward to about 5 days ago when I got an email from a friend of mine that I haven't seen in several years. He said, "I saw an article in the Ensign by a Jeff Stockett from Utah. It was about house hunting and following the spirit, which led to marriage. I wondered if that was MY Jeff Stockett. So, is it you?"  That's when I remembered that it should be coming soon.  I hadn't yet received my copy in the mail, but naturally, I downloaded it on my iPhone and told a few of my coworkers that I was famous.

About 2 days after that it finally came in the mail.  I finally got to see my name in print.  It's a little surreal to realize that something I wrote will be viewed by millions of people and translated into dozens of languages. (In addition to being printed in the Ensign, it is also in the Liahona which is the church's international publication.)  I told Robyn I want to go pick up a spanish version so I can see my story translated into spanish.  She just looked at me like I was crazy, which is not a rare occurrence.

The best part of the publication is that they included an artist's rendition of my story.
Apparently my writing makes me sound like a tall, skinny guy who is not bald.
So, it's been a really neat experience.  If you want to read what I wrote, you can look at pages 18 and 19 of the print version (June 2012 issue) or go to the online version of the article at  There are several stories and mine is the third one.  So scroll down a bit to find me.

Or, if you like, I can just share the story here:

The Spirit communicates in a number of ways. I’ve experienced moments of peace, feelings of comfort, and clarity of thought. Some of my strongest impressions come simply as a feeling of truth or correctness. The feeling is hard to describe, but it is there when you simply know that something is true or that you need to act.
One of the most powerful experiences I’ve had with this feeling was in my search to find a house to purchase. I was single and had been contemplating buying a house for several years. I told my realtor what I was looking for, and she did an excellent job of finding houses that fit my description. She would show me houses, but I would turn them down because they didn’t feel right. She started asking me what I disliked about each one so that she could better show me homes that would fit my needs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t articulate very well what was missing.
Finally, one afternoon we walked through a house that wasn’t as nice as some of the others we had seen. It was a little more expensive than others. It fit my description for what I had said I wanted but not as perfectly as some we had seen. Nevertheless, after walking through it, I told my realtor I wanted to put in an offer. She seemed somewhat surprised at my willingness to act so quickly. Considering my reluctance through previous months, she was right to be surprised. But the feeling that this was where I needed to live was almost overwhelming. I didn’t feel a need to stop and think about it.
I put in an offer, and the sellers accepted my bid, despite the fact that it was not the highest offer they had received. I told my family that I knew I was supposed to live in that house, though I didn’t know why.
I found out why I needed to live there fairly quickly. I met a woman in the singles ward within a month of moving in. A little over a year later, we knelt across the altar in the temple, where we were sealed as husband and wife.
The Lord truly moves in mysterious ways. I had no idea that He was leading me toward eternal marriage when He helped me choose a house. All I knew was that I was being guided to take this step, and now I can see that that guidance came from His Spirit.


  1. That's awesome!!! I felt similarly when my article was published in the New Era a few years ago about something cool we did in our ward with the young women. I bought enough copies to make sure my kids will one day know I'm awesome.

    1. Good idea. I will make sure to get plenty of copies to preserve my awesomeness for posterity.

  2. So glad I know a famous writer!! I like the picture of you and Heather. Mostly, I'm glad that you were lead to Robyn and Zack was lead to Delta as a result of that decision. They are both great additions to our family.

  3. Congratulations! I think you should get a copy in several languages so you can add them all to your portfolio.

  4. I feel it's important to note that not only are you tall and skinny, you still dress like it's 1994.

  5. Maybe I need to follow the spirit more, or have enough money to buy a house. I'm so glad I knew you before you were famous. Now you don't have to mistake me for all those 'fake' friends you will get now.

  6. I'm glad you found me and that I have now made you famous. What would you do without me?

    1. Thanks for making me famous. I couldn't do anything without you.

  7. I'm glad you found me and that I have now made you famous. What would you do without me?

  8. I'm happy we were able to make this happen. Thanks for submitting your story! It's funny cause they usually ask for contributors to give a description of themselves so they can create more realistic artwork, but the designer who did this piece might have been in a hurry to get it to print or something. Either way, you are so famous!


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