My Seminary Teacher Was Just as Busy

Maria Andaca, Metro Manila, Philippines

In the Philippines, there are science high schools that have a strong focus on academics. Students in these schools take more subjects, spend more time in class, and have a lot of homework. This is the kind of environment I was in as a young woman.

I gave up many activities upon entering high school because I knew I would be spending so much time studying. I almost never attended Church activities and would occasionally miss church on Sundays because of school events. I also struggled to attend seminary.

One Saturday my seminary teacher told us how busy she was in her high school days. Despite her schedule, she managed to do her seminary assignments and study scripture mastery at the library. I decided to take up her challenge to do the same. I carried my scripture mastery cards with me all the time and reviewed them during my free time. I prayed for help to balance my seminary study with the demands of school. I memorized scriptures while commuting to school. I took the cards out while I chatted with my friends. During breaks and lunchtime, my friends enjoyed quizzing me on the mastery cards. And then some of them started bringing their scriptures and talking about activities at their churches. I felt the change in atmosphere around me, and school felt lighter and better.

My three younger sisters followed my lead, and now my family reaps the blessings of the scriptures in our home. Learning my scripture mastery verses was a very simple act, but more important than the memorized words, I learned the difference the scriptures could make in me and the people around me. I know that whatever challenge or trial we face, we will always find strength and guidance in the words of our loving Savior.

The Best Language

Jared Rodriguez, Maryland, USA

Because we use the same mouth to pray, to share our testimonies, and to bless the holy sacrament as the one we use to speak, we must take care to keep our words clean and pure. The way we talk says a lot about who we are and the style of life we live. The Apostle Paul said, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). It offends our Heavenly Father when we take His name in vain.

The opposite of profanity is prayer. When we pray, we use the best language we can. As we communicate with our Father in Heaven, who loves us, it is essential for us to do so with purity and humility. In this way, we will be guided and be able to see the infinite blessings of the gospel in our lives.

Making a New Friend

Laura Potts, Illinois, USA

I was sitting at a lunch table with my friends when I noticed that a new boy named Michael had transferred into our lunch period. It seemed like he didn’t really know anyone but was willing to make some new friends. He decided to sit with a group of older boys, who pretended to be his friends for a while but ended up making a joke out of him. They constantly made fun of him until he started to cry. I watched this happen, and it really bothered me. I later learned that Michael has autism.

I decided to ask Michael if he wanted to sit by my friends and me. He said no, probably out of fear of people making fun of him again. He decided he’d rather sit alone.

The next day, I went up to him and introduced him to my friends. I could tell he was glad I hadn’t given up on him, and we started talking. I learned that he is a tic-tac-toe pro. He is almost undefeatable. I also learned how incredibly smart he is. He knows all of the U.S. presidents and can tell you what years they served. He is awesome, but not many people were willing to see past his disability. Some of the other students teased me for sitting with him, but I didn’t let them bother me. I liked hanging out with Michael.

Each day as we met for lunch, I could tell Michael was becoming a happier person. He looked forward to lunch every day, and so did I. What I thought was simply an act of service was really the beginning of a wonderful friendship.