1999
The Most Important Thing
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“The Most Important Thing,” Ensign, Oct. 1999, 18–19

The Most Important Thing

After I was called to teach a single-adult Gospel Doctrine class, I found that when I diligently studied the scriptures and asked Heavenly Father to open my understanding, I was able to teach with the influence of the Holy Ghost. Around that same time, I was involved in a long-distance relationship with a man I thought could be the one I would marry. When a wonderful job opportunity arose near where he lived, I felt my prayers were answered. Soon I was living by myself in a tiny apartment over 300 miles away from my family and friends. However, to my dismay this man decided to end our relationship.

During the next few weeks, I knelt in prayer several times a day. It scared me to find myself fighting fear, despair, and depression harder than I ever had before. Part of me wanted to give up and return home to the security of my family and my old job. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to help me find some way to pull myself upward again and keep my mind off my problems and fears.

Before long, a new single-adult ward was created in that area. One Sunday, as I sat numbly in sacrament meeting while the new bishop read aloud some callings, a thought made me sit up straight: Hadn’t I been truly happy and invigorated when I was serving as a Sunday School teacher? I began praying for Heavenly Father to help the bishopric know how much I needed such a calling in my life again.

As I prayed, however, I worried that it was selfish to ask for my favorite calling. I also worried that the bishopric didn’t know me well enough to think of me for a teaching position. But I felt a strong desire to serve others with my teaching gift, and I believed that teaching would help me overcome my discouragement.

Two weeks went by, and it seemed to me that all the callings in the new ward were filled. I tried to console myself with the fact that at least I’d had something good to hope for, which had helped me somewhat to keep my fearful thoughts at bay. When I received a phone call to meet with a bishopric counselor, I felt happy to have any calling extended to me.

“We’ve prayed a lot about our teachers in this new ward,” the counselor said. “We feel strongly that we need to ask if you’d be willing to accept a calling to be one of the Sunday School teachers.”

I was surprised, thrilled, and grateful. As I immersed myself in Sunday School, my problems seemed to shrink into a more manageable size rather than loom over me like a prospective avalanche. I soon realized the most important thing about Sunday School: This is the one meeting each week in which we all gather together as brothers and sisters in the Church and both listen and share as we explore the scriptures and the gospel. I love what happens when class members add to what a teacher prepares, which helps the Spirit edify everyone. I’m grateful for Sunday School!—Kay Lynn Mangum, St. George, Utah