“What I Needed to Learn,” Liahona, September 2015, 41
Latter-day Saint Voices
What I Needed to Learn
Michael Hendricks, Wyoming, USA
After my first year of university studies, I began a project to better understand the Bible. I decided to study the teachings of a few religious groups I had heard were not Christian and then compare them to the teachings of the Bible.
As the next semester began, I started studying The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of my classes required laboratory work with a partner, and I prayed for someone with whom I could learn what I needed to learn.
I chose a lab bench, and soon a student approached and asked if I had a partner. He introduced himself as Lincoln. I didn’t remember seeing him at school the year before and asked if he had transferred.
“Actually,” he said, “I just returned from serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
I told Lincoln I had begun studying his church and had some questions. He happily agreed to answer them.
During the next three months, I asked questions about the Book of Mormon, temples, latter-day prophets, and modern revelation. Although I learned a great deal during this time, I still thought that Mormons weren’t Christians.
One weekend our school lost a big game. Some teachers in the lab vigorously discussed the loss, repeatedly using the Lord’s name in vain. Lincoln approached the teachers and asked them if they would please stop speaking about Jesus Christ that way.
“Does that really bother you?” they asked with some doubt.
“Yes,” Lincoln replied. “Jesus Christ is my best friend.”
At that moment, my investigation of the Church changed from an intellectual exercise to a question of faith. If this religion produced men like this, it was Christian in every way that mattered.
As Lincoln and I left that night, I asked if I could attend church with him sometime. After going to church, I asked him if I could have a copy of the Book of Mormon and if I could meet with the missionaries.
For two years I investigated the Church and spent time with its members. I saw a consistent pattern of sincere men and women diligently striving to be disciples of the Master. On numerous occasions the Holy Ghost confirmed to me that Jesus Christ, whom I had always tried my best to serve, really had restored His Church in our day. It was overseen by prophets and apostles and led directly by Him.
I was baptized and have now enjoyed more than a dozen years of blessings from the restored gospel and its teachings. How grateful I am that Heavenly Father answered my prayer to find a lab partner who would help me learn what I needed to learn.