The Bus Was Late

“The Bus Was Late,” Liahona, May 2000, 28

The Bus Was Late

Most days my bus arrived right on time, but one day—11 October 1993—it was late. I was a young university student in Caen, France, and I needed to get to class. Looking around, I noticed I was not the only one waiting for the bus. Two young men standing nearby caught my eye. They looked different. Each had a name tag. Who were they? They were obviously not high school students. But anxious about getting to class on time, I quickly turned my thoughts back to worrying about the late bus.

Then, unexpectedly, I heard a voice behind me, saying, “May I ask you a question?”

I turned and found myself facing one of the young men. He spoke French with an unusual accent. “Do you believe in God?” he asked.

I was surprised and hesitated to reply. I had asked myself that very question many times. I had finally decided I was an atheist. There was no reason to continue talking with these young men, but something about their demeanor was so remarkable I found myself wanting to continue our conversation. They radiated a feeling of peace and, surprisingly, an outpouring of love and intelligence. Their name tags said they were missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The three of us conversed for about 10 minutes. I knew nothing about their church, and I was amazed when they said they were prepared to teach me everything I needed to know about God, including the meaning of life. Before my bus arrived—15 minutes late—we set an appointment to meet.

During our discussions, the two elders introduced me to the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and they taught me about the restored gospel. Little by little, I learned the principles of the gospel and came to believe they are true.

My entire life began to change. My parents were the first to notice the difference. Communication with my family improved, and my relationships with everyone became happier. I made friends more easily than ever before. I attended church and saw no pretense there, only expressions of love and acceptance unlike anything I had experienced before. The members seemed to know the difference between what was true and what was false. It was a place of wonderful opportunities.

But before joining the Church, I wanted to be absolutely certain it was the right thing to do. I took my time making up my mind. The missionary discussions helped me come to the conviction that I would not be making a mistake, that I had indeed found the truth. I was baptized on 24 July 1994.

It was the best decision I have ever made. Since then, I have enjoyed the blessings of the gospel and the fellowship of wonderful ward members. I have received the priesthood. I have taught Sunday School and participated in the conversion of others. Life has taken on new meaning.

Thanks to the elders, I found the answers to my questions and the solutions to my problems. Meeting them was the most fortunate encounter of my life. When people ask me how I came to join the Church, I grin and tell them, “The bus was late—thank heavens!”