“You Know in Your Heart,” New Era, June 1990, 11
Class was starting, and I felt as nervous as a cat in a thunderstorm.
After roll call we’d be starting with Kenny’s speech. That would give me about 15 to 20 minutes. Why do I have to give my speech today? I thought. Why did I choose Joseph Smith as my “famous American”?
The majority of the class were Baptist, including the teacher. I was the only Mormon in the whole group. Boy, I had nerve the day I chose this topic.
Kenny was almost finished. No one had any questions about Kenny’s speech on Eisenhower.
It was my turn.
“My ‘famous American’ is Joseph Smith,” I began. ‘He was born in …” My speech lasted about ten minutes—not bad.
“Any questions?” the teacher asked.
It was so silent you could have heard a pin drop.
“Well, I have one,” my teacher replied. “What is the name of the church that Joseph started?”
I knew I had left out something and it would be the most important part. I answered, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly known as the Mormons.”
That started the questions: Where did the plates come from? Who was Moroni? How did he get the plates? And oh, yes, the usual question—What about polygamy? By this time I was feeling pretty good. I answered all of the questions that I could, and then one guy, who I’ll always be thankful to, asked, “How do you know it’s true?”
This question touched me. I truly felt the Spirit in my heart and in the room.
I looked at my questioner and said, “Billy, have you ever felt so right about something that no matter what anybody else says, you know it’s true? You know in your heart, and no one can persuade you otherwise?”
A hush came over the class. Even the teacher didn’t have a reply.
I’ll always be thankful to Billy for helping me realize that I do have a testimony and that I shouldn’t keep it inside.
I had been in front of the class answering questions for over 30 minutes. We even missed part of our break. And I felt radiant the rest of the day.
This experience helped me realize that people want to know about the gospel. I also realized that I have a duty to share my knowledge with others.