All Because a Child Knew the Articles of Faith

From “Examples of Great Teachers,” Ensign, June 2007, 74.

Thomas S. Monson

All Because a Child Knew the Articles of Faith

Forty-five years ago I worked with a man named Sharman Hummel in the printing business. I once asked him how he came to receive his testimony of the gospel.

He responded, “We lived in the East. I was journeying by bus to San Francisco. In Salt Lake City a young girl entered the bus—a Primary girl—who sat next to me. She was going to Reno, Nevada, for a visit with her aunt. As we journeyed westward, I noticed a billboard: ‘Visit the Mormon Sunday School this week.’

“I said to the little girl, ‘I guess there are a lot of Mormons in Utah, aren’t there?’

“She replied, ‘Yes, sir.’

“Then I said to her, ‘Are you a Mormon?’

“Again her reply: ‘Yes, sir.’”

Sharman Hummel then asked, “What do Mormons believe?” And that little girl recited the first article of faith; then she talked about it. Continuing, she gave him the second article of faith and talked about it. Then she gave him the third and the fourth and the fifth and the sixth and all of the Articles of Faith and talked about all of them.

Sharman Hummel said, “I was profoundly impressed. When I arrived in San Francisco, the very first thing I did was to look through the yellow pages for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I called the mission president, and he sent two missionaries to where I was staying. I became a member of the Church, my wife became a member, all of our children became members.”

The entire Hummel family remained active in the Church. Each of the daughters has been to the temple. Countless are those who have been brought to a knowledge of the gospel by the members of this family—all because a young child had been taught the Articles of Faith and had the ability and the courage to proclaim the truth.

How President Monson Learned the Articles of Faith

“An inspired teacher in my life was Erma Bollwinkel. She constantly stressed the importance of learning the Articles of Faith. In fact, we could not graduate from Primary until we successfully recited each article of faith to her—something of a challenge for rambunctious young boys, but we persevered and succeeded. I have, throughout my life, as a result, been able to recite the Articles of Faith.”

Rambunctious means active and noisy.

Persevere means to keep trying.

They Met the Challenge!

The children from Chilhowee Ward in the Knoxville Tennessee Cumberland Stake took the challenge to learn the Articles of Faith. Here’s how they did it:

  • First they memorized a key word for each article of faith.

  • Then they practiced at home.

  • They played memory games in Primary.

  • Some of their families took the challenge too.

  • At the end of the challenge, the whole ward had a dinner to celebrate.

“I learned the Articles of Faith by saying them on the drive to church. Knowing them makes it a whole ton easier to share what you know about the Church with your friends. It makes you feel like you understand what the Church stands for.”

—Elizabeth S., age 11

Play Articles of Faith Memory Quest at!

Illustrations by Brad Teare