“Teaching Mrs. Greene,” Friend, Oct. 2008, 14–16
Cindy walked along six blocks of palm-tree-lined streets to get to Madison Elementary School. There were lots of good things about being in the fourth grade, she thought as she walked. The upper-grade classrooms were all on the second floor of the white stucco building, which meant she would get to walk up the stairs with the older students. Fourth-graders also got to start taking music lessons, and Cindy had already signed up to play the violin.
As Cindy slipped into her desk, she thought about another new adventure—this was the year students could participate in a special religion class. Every Wednesday, those who had parent permission slips would get to leave their regular classroom and learn about different religious beliefs.
“Attention, class! We’re going to divide for religion class now,” Mrs. Greene said. “If you are Catholic, go with Mrs. Leigh. If you are Protestant, please go with Mrs. Jossen. Otherwise, please stay here with me.”
Cindy tucked her blonde hair behind her ears and watched her classmates push back their chairs and gather their notebooks. One by one they walked out until just a few children were left in the classroom.
Mrs. Greene turned to the small remaining group and asked them to introduce themselves and talk about their religious beliefs. One of Cindy’s classmates was Jewish. Another was Buddhist. Then it was Cindy’s turn.
“I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Cindy said. She tried to make her voice sound brave, but she didn’t like talking in front of other people. Mrs. Greene scrunched her eyebrows together for a moment.
“Well, Cindy, then you should have gone with the Protestants,” she said.
Cindy’s heart began to beat fast as everyone in the room turned to look at her. She paused for a moment, thinking back to the lessons she had learned in Primary. As she remembered stories about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, she knew what she had to say.
“No, Mrs. Greene. Latter-day Saints aren’t Protestant. And we’re not Catholic either. We believe that the gospel has been restored to the earth by a prophet named Joseph Smith. It’s the same religion that was on the earth when Jesus was here with His disciples. We believe that the gospel is on the earth once again, Mrs. Greene.”
Mrs. Greene looked at Cindy skeptically before continuing on with the lesson.
“She doesn’t think I know what I’m talking about,” Cindy thought.
As Cindy walked home later that day, she thought about what had happened. She didn’t bother to stop at the candy store, and she didn’t pause to pick the flowers that she sometimes used for doll bouquets. She was too busy thinking about Joseph Smith and what she had learned in Primary.
“Joseph Smith received the priesthood and the scriptures and the keys that allowed him to establish the Church on the earth again,” Cindy thought. “That’s what the sixth article of faith talks about.”
When Cindy sat down in class the next day, she was a little nervous to see Mrs. Greene again. But to her surprise, Mrs. Greene had a big smile on her face.
“Cindy, I want you to know that I spoke to the history teacher about Mormonism,” Mrs. Greene said in front of the entire class. “And she told me that you were absolutely right, that your religion was restored. I am sorry I doubted you, Cindy. Thank you for speaking up. You really seem to know what your church stands for!”
The rest of the day seemed especially bright for Cindy. She smiled as she jumped rope. She smiled as she bounced a ball and picked up jacks.
“I can’t wait to tell Mom what I taught the teacher!” Cindy said to herself as she started to skip home.