Adam was a cool, popular, good-looking sports captain at our high school in Brisbane, Australia. He was the guy every girl seemed to have a secret crush on. We became friends, and he would often ask me questions about being a Latter-day Saint. He respected my decision not to swear or drink alcohol like the majority of our peers did.
As we got to know each other better, I started to uncover the person underneath Adam’s popular, athletic shell. I saw something more in him that I didn’t see in most other guys. He had more respect for my beliefs, and he wanted to understand rather than mock my standards. He even stopped drinking and swearing. But I was still a little scared to present the beliefs of the Church openly to him. I was afraid he would think I was preaching or trying to convert him. Although I hoped deep inside that he would someday accept the gospel, I didn’t want to scare him away.
Sometimes I took Adam to sacrament meetings, firesides, and other Church activities. One day as we drove home from a fireside, he asked me why I didn’t tell him more about the Church. He had felt something stirring inside and wanted to know more, and I knew I should be doing more to help him.
As time went on, I made a greater effort to explain gospel principles to Adam. He was open and always respectful, but he brushed away the idea of baptism because he knew the contention it would create between him and his parents.
My friends and family thought it was good that I tried to share the gospel with Adam but didn’t seem to think he’d ever actually get baptized. I tried to keep him interested in the Church, but I really couldn’t see his baptism happening either. Still, my hope that he would someday take that step wouldn’t go away. I received strength and assurance from Heavenly Father that if I didn’t give up on Adam the Spirit would help him and bring him to baptism. After high school I moved away, and we went on with our separate lives.
Sometime after I left, Adam decided to take the missionary discussions. It was a slow and sometimes difficult process, but Adam finally decided to join the Church. His parents’ hearts were miraculously softened. It was like a dream come true. I wrote about it in my journal:
“I feel like all the prayers I’ve ever prayed, all the discouragement and worry and sorrow and whatever I’ve been through over Adam with the Church is all gone and was completely worth it because of how things are now! The Lord’s plan is so perfect and amazing. What a confirmation of the Lord’s perfect knowledge and timing. I was so impatient and faithless at times, but amidst all of that, God knew exactly what He was doing. This experience just brings me closer to the Lord, makes my faith in Him stronger, my love for Him more real and deep.”
Adam is now a faithful member of the Church, and he has already influenced many lives for good, especially those of his friends and family. My experience with Adam has taught me that it is not up to us to judge who will accept the gospel and who won’t. The gospel is not only for some select people. It is for everyone. Early in my friendship with Adam, I did not believe he would ever get baptized. But Heavenly Father knew. He knows who will accept His gospel, and He prepares their hearts and provides a way. All we need to do is never let an opportunity to share the gospel pass us by.
Don’t ever be scared to share your testimony.