Did I Have Time to Serve My Classmate?
June 2024

“Did I Have Time to Serve My Classmate?,” Liahona, June 2024.

Latter-day Saint Voices

Did I Have Time to Serve My Classmate?

I thought I didn’t have time to help, but the Lord blessed me for my sacrifice.

clock with a reflection showing a man recording himself reading a book

Illustration by Lee Montgomery / IllustrationX

In 1998, I began my studies at the University of the Andes. I greatly desired to earn my university degree with a good grade point average. But my criminology classes were difficult, and I had trouble adapting to university work. Also, I was busy serving as a counselor in my ward bishopric and working at night to provide for my family.

Doubt and worry frustrated my hopes that first year as I earned grades far below the class average. As the school year ended, I increased my pleas to God in prayer for help understanding each theory, principle, and procedure.

During my second year, I met a classmate I had not noticed before named Argenis. I discovered that he had not seen me either—nor would he ever see me because he was blind. One day he approached me with his cane and braille tablet and asked for help. He said I had a good voice and that he needed me to record the written study guides so he could listen to them.

He had asked others, but they refused. Those who had helped him the year before were reluctant to help him again. Between my busy schedule and poor grades, I was also reluctant to help.

Despite never officially agreeing to his request, however, I soon found myself reading and rereading the guides to record their content for Argenis. In time, we became friends, and I began to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. I even gave him a Book of Mormon in braille. He appreciated my help but never became interested in learning more about the Church.

As I continued reading and recording the study guides, however, my grade point average began to rise. Even my peers noticed that I was becoming a better student and growing in my understanding.

Eight years after I graduated, my friend Argenis also graduated. He hadn’t been interested in the Church, but he had helped me understand “that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). He had also helped me see that as I serve others, God blesses me and increases my ability.