Can God, the master plot builder, write you and me a happy ending, even if we’ve messed up the story?

Recently a friend and I were chatting online about a most stupid and aggravating character (Young Pere in “The Soldier in the Middle of the World”). Those of you who are reading it know that Young Pere keeps getting caught up in his own ideas of how things should be. Despite warnings and promptings, he insists on doing things his way, to disastrous ends.

My friend remarked, “I hate to admit that in so many ways, Young Pere mirrors my life.”

I had to agree. Far too often I’ve counseled God–told Him how I expected things to be–instead of taking counsel from Him. That’s how I got so much material for Young Pere—my own arrogant mistakes.

But then I told my friend, “The best part, though, has been writing salvation for him. Bringing in characters who help him, then developing for him an ultimately happy ending. Nothing has been more satisfying!

I could barely type those words before something big and beautiful bloomed from them: the idea that if I can so readily write a good ending for a character, couldn’t God also take my messed-up storyline and craft a happy ending as well?

I won’t detail my mistakes (it’s not THAT kind of blog) but I’ve made a few whoppers, and we’re still reeling, many years later, from some huge financial errors. So often I’ve decided there isn’t any hope, that this problem which grows yearly will go with me to my grave (the only way we’ll eventually be free from it).

But lately I’ve had this little niggling in the back of my head: What if there is a solution? What if God has seen the disasters caused by my younger arrogance, and has been quietly working on a subplot these past few years that will eventually surface and provide a glorious solution?

Then came to me the thought, “That’s exactly what I do. If you pay attention, eventually you’ll find it.”

In Moses 1:39 He says, “For behold, this is my work and my glory–to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

His “glory” is helping us secure a happy ending. Talk about a satisfying project!

I’ve written before that God’s the master plot builder, that through His twists and turns and even deus ex machina, He literally is the God in the Machine, frequently providing solutions and answers and lessons and growth that we never would have sought out for ourselves.

And He even provides miracles.


Little ones. Big ones.

He hasn’t ceased to be a God of miracles.

And maybe, just maybe, He still has a few plot twists and miracles waiting for me. Perhaps even a most epic and glorious ending. Because, honestly, there’s nothing more wonderful than making a happy ending.

And I’m betting He’s got one for you, too.


You look so tired, Young Pere. So weary, my sweet boy. Did you ever have a day of peace in the world?

“No,” he sighed. “Not that I remember.”

Then isn’t it time to let go of the world?

Young Pere let the words wash over him, some remote part of him beginning to accept that maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea.

Isn’t it time to try someone else’s ideas for a while? The Creator has a plan for you, Young Pere. It’s been revealed to me, and my sweet boy, it’s wonderful!

He rubbed his face.

Do you trust me, Young Pere?

~Book 8, the final installment, coming in Summer 2018 (well, that’s the hope right now . . .)

weekly meme Creator has a plan for you

8 thoughts on “Can God, the master plot builder, write you and me a happy ending, even if we’ve messed up the story?

  1. If I might join in…

    I don’t usually comment but I’ve recently found that has a series of free Isaiah discussions available. Having watched some of their other discussion series I’m looking forward to it. Pleeeeease, don’t let it distract you from getting that last book into my hands! I am anxious to read it to my family. (Sounds selfless doesn’t it? Hah!). I can’t wait! We have had such joy reading the series.

    As you say, the language in Isaiah is as beautiful as the scriptures are dense with meaning. I take particular joy (and relief) in knowing that our Father knows our natures and, as Jennifer said, “…the Lord knew in advance how we were going to get ourselves tangled up and he had a way out already built in.” Thank you, Ladies, I feel that I needed this tonight. I’ve been sick for a few months and I’ve missed my sisters so this has been a mini-Relief-society-meeting just when I needed it.

    In one of your books you mentioned who and why you donated the proceeds of the book to. I have not been able to find it again. Would you direct me to it please?

    Thank you,


    • You may certainly join in! I’m so sorry you’ve been ill. It’s alarming how quickly we can feel out of the loop. Glad we could provide a tiny one for you.

      I donate my proceeds to the Church’s Humanitarian Fund, or add it to fast offerings, if there’s a need in the unit I’m living in. I figure the Lord will get it where it needs to be. I donate the proceeds (what little there are) because I feel the plot lines of these books, and the means of writing them, have been given to me freely, and so I shouldn’t be taking money for something donated to me. I want these messages and stories to be out there, and I have this little fantasy that someday enough people will read them and decide to build Salem (Zion) themselves, because it would be such an amazing way to live. A few years ago I was particularly struck by 2 Nephi 26: 29, 31, and in the margins wrote, “This is why I shouldn’t charge money for what I write.” The paperbacks are as cheap as I can list them, and I list my ebooks for free on other venues, because then Amazon notices and makes them for free (often) on their site.

      And yes, I’ve seen the Isaiah discussions! Well, the ones they had a few years ago. Have they updated them in the past five years? I don’t subscribe to TV, but I used to and LOVED watching the institute teachers point out all the marvelous little jots and tittles I always missed. Someday I hope to get time again to watch them, but not until I’m done with Book 8, I promise! (And it’s getting close to going out to my beta readers.)


      • I’d like to say more but for now I’ll just let you know that BYUtv is available as a free app! Since reading your book I haven’t been able to get it out of my head…just how good it would be to create a Zion in which to live. I keep passing the books around and they have been received with great delight.

        I loved your portrayal of Mahree in the temple. I think that was my favorite part.

        Thank you so very much for your writing. G’nite


      • Oh no . . . a free app? I supposed I don’t need to sleep.
        Thank you for passing around the books-that’s exactly what I hoped would happen!
        And you can’t get Zion out of your head? Mission accomplished.


  2. Ah, but I do love Young Pere. At least when he’s listening to Perrin. He’s a gamechanger when he’s not listening though.


    • I’m glad you like him! I’ve had a few readers get very frustrated with him. I do, too, but I think it’s because I can relate too much.


  3. So true. Isaiah talks about the Lord making the crooked ways straight, and I love that metaphor so much. So often we have crooked paths that need straightening, and think things are hopeless. And then, we learn the Lord knew in advance how we were going to get ourselves tangled up and he had a way out already built in.

    Isaiah 45:2,3
    I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

    And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.


    • I love Isaiah! (The parts I can follow; otherwise, it’s like reading Shakespeare–sounds amazing, but I’m totally lost in the idioms and cultural reference of the day. Still, my favorite is his description of the daughters of Zion, “walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet.” Love the language, love the idea, so I don’t wear jewelry that makes me mince and tinkle.)

      “Break the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.” Perfect!


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