I’m under pressure, like most British students—especially during exams. Since I’m LDS (East Grinstead Ward, Crawley England Stake), I’m supposed to take time for scripture study, too. It can seem like one thing too many. But this summer, as I was sitting A-levels (taking finals), I discovered how much scriptures mean to me. We had been building up to these exams the last five years, and studying specifically for them for the last two years. It was like life stopped almost. I spent all my time revising (studying), working really hard.
Art is my favorite subject, and I had lots and lots of assignments to submit by a certain date. I had 20 hours before they had to be handed in, and I still had a lot of work to do. I’d been ill for a week, so I was way behind. I was staying up all night, and at two o’clock in the morning, the work I was doing was deteriorating to the point that it was really bad. I had put a lot of work into the whole exam, and if I didn’t hand it in the next day, I would fail automatically.
Over the last week, I’d been reading the Book of Mormon every night. I’d never, of my own initiative, started reading the scriptures like that. For some reason I just thought it was about time I did. I’d reached the point where I really enjoyed them. They became easy to understand.
By now it was three in the morning. I was tired and couldn’t work anymore. I prayed that I would be able to finish the next morning, that I would have the strength and that my work would be to my best potential. I read my scriptures before I went to bed.
The next morning, after early-morning seminary, I spent the whole time painting. I should have been tired, but I wasn’t. I was amazed because the work I was doing was just so much higher than my normal standard.
I have a solid testimony now that if you make time for the spiritual things in life, it will help in all areas. I set a goal that throughout the exams, I’d read the scriptures as regularly as possible. Because of the work you have to do, you may be inclined to forget seminary, forget Mutual, forget everything because you have to study. I think keeping up with all your Church goals really helps more than you realize. I felt I had the Spirit with me constantly. It was a good experience for me.