Saving Souls in Seminary
January 1997

“Saving Souls in Seminary,” Ensign, Jan. 1997, 68

Saving Souls in Seminary

“I think what my students find in seminary is a sense of freedom,” says 77-year-old Irmgard Sirtl. She teaches seminary in the Landshut Branch, Munich Germany Stake. “They feel free to ask questions.”

One of Sister Sirtl’s students, 16-year-old Carlo Theiss, says: “In school there are all kinds of temptations and challenges. People don’t understand my being a Latter-day Saint. They have different morals. But Sister Sirtl provides us with a place where we can be with friends, gain strength, and learn the gospel.”

One highlight of Sister Sirtl’s seminary teaching came when she challenged each class member to bear his or her testimony. “Eventually,” she recalls, “they all bore their testimonies to each other, though it was difficult. They didn’t know I was helping them prepare for something bigger. Not long after, every one of them bore testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel in a branch testimony meeting without any further prompting from me.”

Sister Sirtl joined the Church in May 1957. She raised six children, took in four foster children, and also has six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She has been a widow for 20 years. In addition to teaching seminary, her activities in her small branch include teaching Sunday School and Relief Society, serving as a Relief Society counselor, and doing her visiting teaching.—Paul and Shirlee Conners, Sandy, Utah