“A Study Plan,” Liahona, Mar. 2000, 10–11
When I was only five years old, my father told me he was impressed with my first-grade notebooks. He told me I should learn in every free moment I could find. Because he died shortly thereafter, that moment was the last time I saw my father really pleased with me. As a result, I have always studied for my own pleasure, but also for my dad.
Many years later as a university student, I worked hard and enjoyed my education. When I was baptized a member of the Naples Centro Branch, Naples Italy District, my joy became complete. I had found the truth I’d always searched for. I spent happy hours reading the Book of Mormon, other scriptures, and the Liahona (Italian). The more I studied such inspired works, the greater was my desire to learn. What joy I found studying the gospel! I loved to put the commandments into practice and enjoyed visiting teaching and working with the missionaries.
But as my attention to spiritual learning increased, my university studies slipped. I even missed exams because I had not studied enough. When my nonmember mother found out about my changed habits, she said, “Enough of this Church! Enough with these Mormons!”
Her words stung me. My behavior was not the Church’s fault; the guilt was mine. I felt ashamed for setting a bad example for my mother.
I knew my college studies were important, but I couldn’t give up the studying that was so delicious to my soul. What could I do? I went to God in prayer. Finally, after many prayers, I had my answer.
Today there are two stacks of books on my desk. On the right are the scriptures and the most recent issue of the Liahona; on the left are the books for my next exam. Each day, I start and end my studies with a scripture. I have restricted myself to a firm schedule in which I reward myself during study breaks with an article from the magazine or a chapter in the Book of Mormon.
From this experience I’ve learned a great lesson. We should develop ourselves in all good things so we can be positive examples and serve others. Jesus Himself “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
I continue with my study plan, always trying to stay close to the Lord and find ways to serve Him in all my activities—spiritual and secular.