Adding Up to Success


young man

Illustration by J. Beth Jepson

When I was 14, my physics teacher saw my talent in math and entered me in the Brazilian Mathematics Olympiad. There were three phases. The first and the second would be held on a Saturday. I was classified for the third phase and saw that it would be held on two days, Saturday and Sunday.

I then told my teacher and the director of the Olympiad that I would not take a test on Sunday because it is the Lord’s day. The director asked me to talk to my Church leaders so that I could be freed to take the test on Sunday, for if I did not take it, I would be disqualified. I said that I could forgo everything but not God.

I did not become sad, because I had the hope that God honors those who honor Him. I remembered Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Some weeks later we contacted the secretary of the Olympiad, who stated that I could not take the test any other day and that I would be disqualified. After much conversing, he suggested that I send him an email explaining my situation. After sending the email, I prayed to Heavenly Father and said that I would do His will.

The following night, I received an email from the coordinator stating that I could take the Sunday test on Monday at the most convenient time for me, and he even offered to administer the test in my own city so that I would not miss the morning class at school.

After receiving this good news, I prayed to thank the Lord because He had helped me. My parents went to the temple to express thanks.

When the test results came out, I received the gold medal. The Lord honors those who honor Him.

Key Ideas about Sabbath Day Observance

“The Lord has given the Sabbath day for your benefit and has commanded you to keep it holy.

“Honoring the Sabbath day includes attending all your Church meetings. …

“Prepare during the week so that you can reserve Sunday for the many uplifting activities that are appropriate for the Sabbath day. …

“Observing the Sabbath will bring you closer to the Lord and to your family. It will give you an eternal perspective and spiritual strength.”

For the Strength of Youth (2011), 30–31.