“My Teacher Was Right”

By Carmen de Hernández

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    “Mom! Mom!” Juan shouted as he ran into the house.

    “What happened?” Mother asked, a little surprised by all the excitement.

    “She was right! She was right!” Juan cried.

    “She was right? Who was right? What are you talking about, Juan?”

    “Come sit down, Mom, so I can tell you what happened in school,” Juan replied.

    Mother sat down and gave Juan her attention.

    “In history class we were studying different cultures. Some of the cultures worship different gods and have different beliefs. Some kids started making fun, and everybody was joking around. And then the whole class started arguing about different religions. They were standing up and defending their own religions and attacking everybody else’s. And the class was really noisy, with everybody talking at the same time.

    “So the teacher stood up and told us to take turns. She said each person could come to the front of the room and explain something about his or her beliefs. But when the class heard that, they got scared and sat down. Our teacher stood there waiting for somebody to come up and talk.

    “You know what, Mom? Nobody wanted to go up. But some of the kids were whispering quietly to each other. They would say, ‘In my church, we don’t drink alcohol.’ And others would answer, ‘We don’t either.’ Or they would say, ‘We go to church every Sunday.’ And other people would answer, ‘We do, too.’ But that was all.

    “I was listening to what they were saying. Then I remembered what Sister Piedrasanta said in Primary. She always tells us that if we learn the Articles of Faith and know what they mean, it will be easy to talk to others about our religion.

    “So I raised my hand and went up in front of everybody, even though I was scared.”

    “That took courage, Juan,” Mother said. “What did you say?”

    “I just imagined I was in Primary, and I said, ‘“We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost” (A of F 1:1). This means that They are three different personages.’ Then I explained that God the Father and Jesus Christ each have a body. I said, ‘They have eyes and a nose and arms and legs.’

    “Some kids started laughing. But I remembered what Sister Piedrasanta taught us, and I said, ‘The Bible says that God made man in His own image and likeness. We have a body of flesh and bones because He does’ (see Gen. 1:27). And you know what, Mom? They were all quiet. Then I went on saying the Articles of Faith. Everybody was listening carefully. I felt strong inside.

    “After a while, I said, ‘All of us are in the same school. We should be friends and not fight over our religions or criticize and make fun of other people. We should love each other no matter what we believe.’ Then I said the eleventh article of faith: ‘We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, and what they may.’ [A of F 1:11]

    “Then everyone clapped and shouted, ‘Yeah, Juan! Way to go!’ My teacher asked how I learned all those things about my religion.

    “‘In my Primary class at church,’ I answered.

    “Then she went on with history class. But now everyone in my class knows what Latter-day Saints believe. That’s why I was saying Sister Piedrasanta was right. Knowing the Articles of Faith helps a lot.”

    “I am so proud of what you did, Juan,” Mother said. She smiled at Juan and gave him a big hug.

    Illustrated by Taia Morley