A Teacher I Will Never Forget

“A Teacher I Will Never Forget,” Ensign, Mar. 2000, 43–44

A Teacher I Will Never Forget

I grew up in a small village in North Wales. Members of our little branch, the Sir Fon Branch, traveled for up to an hour to gather on Sundays. I was one of only four teenagers in the branch, and we met each Sunday to discuss our home-study seminary booklet. It was very hard to stay motivated and on schedule—that is, until Lorna Wise became our home-study seminary teacher.

Sister Wise and her husband, Peter, had just moved from London to our rural community so Peter could do graduate work at the nearby university. Although dealing with a difficult pregnancy, Sister Wise nonetheless accepted the challenge of her new calling.

Each Sunday our class met in a little attic room in the town hall. The room had sloping walls, a dusty wood floor, a handful of old wooden chairs, and a single light bulb hanging from a long cord. But dim as the room was, my knowledge of the gospel began to blossom. Each week, Sister Wise presented a well-prepared lesson to help us with the following week’s study. She collected our booklets, reviewed them with us, and helped us understand gospel concepts. She quietly encouraged us to stay on schedule and to make seminary study our own daily devotional. Sometimes I was the only student in the class, but Sister Wise was always there.

Soon the scriptures came to life for me. Instead of habitually procrastinating, I began to look forward to doing my seminary work each morning. I felt fortified for the day ahead in my school of 1,500, where I was the only Latter-day Saint. I began to find it easier to share my testimony with my peers.

After three years, the Wise family returned to southern England. I’m sure there were times when Sister Wise wondered whether her service in her calling was at all meaningful to anyone. She received very little praise and certainly no recognition. Our branch was so small and our class so tiny that she may have almost forgotten the experience herself. But I will never forget. Sister Wise touched my life at a crucial time. She helped build the foundation of my testimony of the gospel, which remains strong to this day.

Sian A. Bessey