When I first began college, I wasn’t sure what career to pursue. All I knew was that I felt happiest when I helped people.
Through studying, pondering, and praying, I finally decided to go into a medical field. But this career choice meant taking some difficult classes. I did all right in my basic biology, math, and chemistry courses, but I wasn’t confident I could handle the required upper-level courses.
Soon I found myself in a cellular biology course that was daunting, to say the least. I felt if I could pass the first exam, I could complete the course and eventually fulfill my goal. In preparation for this test, I studied extra hard—reading each chapter from the textbook two or three times, reviewing my class notes until they were almost memorized, and making flash cards with key words and concepts to review.
Just before the exam, my institute teacher taught a lesson on inspiration. One scripture he shared especially struck me: “Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth” (D&C 6:15).
It dawned on me that the Lord might be willing to help in matters other than those strictly spiritual. I knew I had done my part in preparing for the test, but I also felt I could use His divine help.
The night before the exam, I went through my flash cards one last time, then knelt by my bed and asked Heavenly Father for assurance and clarity of mind during the test. I felt immediate peace and comfort, and I knew the Lord would be with me.
That night I dreamed I was taking the exam. In my dream I entered the classroom, sat at my desk, and went through the exam page by page, answering each question with ease. It was a good dream and gave me a feeling of confidence the next morning.
As I went to class, I knew everything would be OK. I sat at my desk and opened my exam. The questions were remarkably similar to those on the exam in my dream. “What’s going on?” I wondered. Then I remembered the verse my institute teacher had shared with us. I knew the Lord had enlightened my mind. I felt He had answered my prayer—not only helping me with the test but showing me He approved of my decision to pursue this course of study.
I breezed through the test, reviewed it once, and was the first student to hand it in. The following day, the teacher smiled as she handed me my exam with a bold “100% Great job!” written in one corner. It was the only perfect score in the class.
That night I knelt by my bed and poured out my heart in gratitude for Heavenly Father’s abundant blessings. I knew if I had not done my part and studied as never before, the Lord might not have given me the help I needed. But I had studied, and I had been blessed more than I could have imagined.
The Real Value of Learning
“We are frequently taught in the scriptures to seek learning by study and by faith (see D&C 88:118). In our own lives, in our families, and in the Church, we can receive blessings of spiritual strength, direction, and protection as we seek by faith to gain intelligence and apply spiritual knowledge in righteousness.”
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Glory of God Is Intelligence,” Friend, Oct. 2007, 7.
Illustration by Amy Thompson