“Institute: The Best Treatment,” Ensign, October 2014, 18–19
After I returned home from my mission, my goal was to pay my own way through college, so I worked while studying toward a degree. Since I wanted to continue the spiritual growth I had experienced in the mission field, I enrolled in institute, where I could build friendships and strengthen my knowledge of the gospel. Thankfully, it was always easy to find new friends, and institute became a haven for me and a consistent part of my life.
After being in school for eight years, I was finally nearing graduation. Shortly before I began my final semester, I started having difficulty concentrating. I got really tired, and I felt like I was losing my ability to learn. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a primary brain tumor. It was benign, but immediate surgery would be required to remove it.
Instantly, almost every aspect of my life changed. I had to postpone my education and set aside the job that had paid for it. The week before my surgery, I went to institute. I wanted to do all I could to strengthen my faith during this ordeal.
After my surgery I had a severe learning disability because some of my brain tissue was removed. While my memory and my ability to function were intact, my ability to concentrate in a classroom was almost entirely gone. Despite this, my roommate and friends from my student ward got me coming back to institute. We made a routine out of getting me out of the house and giving me something to look forward to.
A priesthood blessing from my father and my bishop promised that I would recover from my condition completely. Being in institute, spending time in a classroom, and studying the course materials allowed me to engage my mind so that I could learn again and regain my mental capacity. Institute saved me.
I completed my engineering degree the following semester, and I went on to earn a master’s degree in education, even with the learning challenges I faced.
I feel that the institute program gave me the opportunity to learn what the Lord had in store for me and to continue progressing in this life. Institute sustained me throughout my long journey through college by helping me balance my education and my schedule, make new friends, and in the end, recover from a brain tumor.