23942_000_015Get up at 4:30 A.M. to attend seminary? I wasn’t even a member of the Church. Still, I had nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.
When I was 17, I went to live with my aunt and uncle in Sekondi, Ghana, who were sponsoring my education. When I arrived at their home, I immediately noticed unusual things about their family. They had morning and evening prayers together and held family meetings on Monday evenings that seemed to make each family member feel loved and appreciated. Even though I was an active member of another faith, I became interested in finding out about their beliefs.
When I asked Uncle Sarfo about the Church, he explained many of the Church’s teachings. Some I believed, and others I did not understand.
My uncle then asked the missionaries to teach me the discussions, and I received all six of the lessons. But when the missionaries invited me to be baptized, I refused because I did not have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I found it difficult to read and understand.
To please Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Sarfo, I had already been attending sacrament meeting. Now they encouraged me to enroll in the early-morning seminary course that was to begin in two weeks. Getting out of bed at 4:30 A.M. was no small matter for me, but the seminary teacher, Solomon Agbo, visited me, encouraged me to attend, and seemed already to care about me. I decided to go to seminary, and once I made that decision, I resolved not to be absent even for a single day. The course of study was the Book of Mormon, and I wanted to see if I might gain a testimony of the book.
As I began studying the Book of Mormon for seminary, I experienced the feelings Elder Parley P. Pratt (1807–57) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described when he first found the Book of Mormon. “I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page,” he wrote. “I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt , 18).
As I read, the Spirit of the Lord bore witness that the Book of Mormon is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. Through seminary the Book of Mormon became much easier to read. Whenever it was hard to follow, my teacher helped me understand. I received a testimony that the Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book on earth, … and a man [will] get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith , 194).
I was baptized on 5 March 1995. By the time I was 21 I was a seminary teacher myself, helping others know of the divinity and truthfulness of the book that changed my life.