I rounded the corner just in time to see the double-decker bus pulling up to my bus stop. I ran full speed, dodging puddles and pedestrians, and leaped onto the bus just as it began pulling away.
Buses in Manchester, England, were always crowded at this time of night, but I didn’t mind. As a student at the Royal Northern College of Music, I didn’t have very much free time to meet the British people, so I looked forward to my crowded bus rides as opportunities to make new friends.
I finally found a seat next to a lovely young woman who was deeply involved in a pamphlet. I sat down quietly, trying not to disturb her, but I couldn’t help peeking over her shoulder to see what she was reading. It was a religious pamphlet that bore the heading, “Believe in Christ and Be Saved!” Further down the page I read the words, “We are saved by faith alone.” I looked up to find the young woman smiling at me curiously. “Oh, excuse me,” I said, “but I couldn’t help noticing your pamphlet. Are you interested in religion?”
“Oh, no!” she said in a strong, content voice. “I’m already saved! I’m just reading this for fun. And what about you?” she asked. “Are you saved?”
I had never been asked the question in that way before, and I stammered with my answer, “Well, I … uh, I’m … I’m trying! I am a Christian.”
“Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!” she shouted in a loud voice, drawing the attention of the bus driver and several fellow passengers. Then, a little more softly, she asked, “What is your church?”
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m a Mormon.”
“Ooh! Oh, no!” she whispered, leaning away from me with fear in her eyes. “Oh, I know about Mormons! You’re not Christian.”
“Yes, we are!” I said.
“No,” she said again. “No! I remember two Mormons knocked on my door once and told me that they had a message for me about Jesus Christ. I let them in to talk about Christ, and all we talked about was some man named Joseph Smith. I don’t believe in him, and they didn’t tell me about Christ. Your church isn’t Christian.”
She seemed so set in her opinions that I didn’t know what to say. Then I heard myself talking about Joseph Smith and explaining why he was so important to the restoration of the true gospel. I told her about continuing revelation and bore my testimony of a living prophet on the earth today.
She listened politely for some time, then apologized as she stood up, “I’m sorry, but this is my stop. It’s been nice talking to you, but I still say Mormons aren’t Christian.” With that, she got off the bus and left me staring openmouthed after her.
I worried all the way home, and for the rest of the evening I couldn’t stop thinking of the young woman and her incorrect belief that Latter-day Saints didn’t believe in Christ. What could I say, if I ever met her again, to convince her that I did have a testimony of Christ and that I believed that I belonged to his church?
I turned to my scriptures, hoping to find some kind of answer or at least some comfort. I picked up my Book of Mormon, and in 2 Nephi I began to read the beautiful and plain words testifying of the Savior.
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Ne. 25:26).
Since I had been studying in England, I had told many people on my bus about the Church. I had talked about Utah and Brigham Young University, about pioneers and prophets, about football teams and families, about developing talents and storing food. I had talked about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel, and about missions and the scriptures. But had I ever “talked of Christ”?
In my prayers that night I gave sincere thanks for Jesus Christ, the reason this gospel and church are true, and the source we can look to for a remission of our sins. I also prayed that I would see again the young lady I had talked with on the bus, so that I could tell her about the most important part of my testimony, my belief in Christ.
I did see her again, the very next day on the same bus. She seemed happy to see me, and we chatted lightly about the weather and my classes. As we got closer to her stop, I turned nervously and said, “I forgot to tell you something about my church yesterday.”
I began to talk of Christ. The words were not eloquent or powerful, but I bore my testimony of Jesus Christ as our Savior and as the head of our church. “My church teaches its members many things,” I said. “Sometimes we get so caught up in these wonderful truths that we forget the most important truth we have, that Jesus is our Savior and is at the center of our church. I’m sorry I didn’t talk about him sooner.”
I talked about the scripture in 2 Nephi and told her that I knew the Book of Mormon was another testament of Christ.
The bus had stopped and people were pressing toward the doors. Without a word or glance for me, she rose and joined them. But as she got off the bus, she looked up at my window and called, “Thank you!”
I never saw her again, and I don’t think she ran home to call the elders and ask to be baptized. But she did leave that bus knowing that I believed in Jesus Christ and that I knew The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his church and worships him.
How grateful I am for the powerful words of Nephi that reminded me of what it is we always ought to be teaching our brothers and sisters. In talking about the many wonderful blessings of our church, I hope I never again miss the opportunity to show, through words and actions, that we center our belief in Christ.