Blessed by Seminary
August 2003

“Blessed by Seminary,” Liahona, Aug. 2003, 46

Blessed by Seminary

When I was 17, my friend July invited me to go to seminary in her ward in Lima, Peru. I had a passing interest in the Old Testament, so I agreed to go.

My friend’s aunt, Sister Rosa de Arriaga, was the seminary teacher, and each day she started class by asking someone to pray. As I kept attending I not only gained a greater love for the scriptures, but I also learned to pray. Then one day Sister Rosa asked me to lead the class in prayer. The experience was unbelievable. My bosom began to burn, and a feeling of warmth radiated throughout my whole body. I felt like crying.

One Saturday I decided to attend a youth conference. I met a lot of young people and had a great time at the activity. When I showed up for a meeting later that afternoon in jeans and sneakers, I was surprised to see others wearing suits and ties. I felt uncomfortable, but one of the men smiled and signaled for me to come in. As I listened during the meeting, everything seemed very familiar to me.

Afterward, I went to Sister Rosa’s house to tell her what had happened. Sister Rosa’s son told me with a smile, “You won’t be able to dress like that tomorrow at the Sunday session.”

The next day, I walked into the meeting wearing a tie for the first time in my life. I was impressed by the orderliness of the meeting and the friendliness others showed me. Once again I felt that warm feeling in my chest, and the feeling continued throughout the entire meeting. When the choir sang I felt like crying. It was such a wonderful feeling that I wanted to have it all the time.

One month after my first seminary class, the missionaries began teaching me the discussions, and on 28 April 1996 I was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My mom and sisters were baptized six months later and my dad one month after that. On 31 January 1998 my whole family was sealed in the Lima Peru Temple.

Later I served full time in the Perú Lima North Mission. After my mission I taught in the Perú Missionary Training Center for three years. Wearing a tie—which had once seemed so unusual—became an everyday occurrence.

I will always be grateful to my friend July and to my seminary teacher, Sister Rosa, for their role in helping this chain of blessings come to me and my family.

  • Juan Miguel Aguirre Encarnación is a member of Los Laureles Ward, Lima Perú Chorrillos Stake.

Illustrations by Brian Call