Firm Foundations
June 2018

“Firm Foundations,” New Era, June 2018

Firm Foundations

Touched by the Words of a Living Prophet

Our Space

Illustrations by J. Beth Jepson

When I was 15 years old, I spotted two missionaries in front of a supermarket. One of them invited me to come to church. I wasn’t very interested, so I told them, “Maybe someday,” and walked away.

The next day, my aunt called and asked my mother to come to her house to hear a special message. My mother and I ran over and saw the same missionaries I had seen the day before sitting in my aunt’s house! My mother was interested by their message, and I started listening as well. However, when the missionaries asked me if I believed in a living prophet, I responded with a resolute no. One of the elders held up a picture of Thomas S. Monson and testified that President Monson was a prophet. They invited me to come to general conference the next day to decide for myself. Curious, I agreed to come.

The next day, we reached the chapel just as the opening prayer was finishing. As I walked into the room, I saw President Monson come onto the screen. He smiled and said, “My dear brothers and sisters, I greet you …”

As soon as President Monson opened his mouth, a strong feeling swept over me, confirming that he was a prophet of God. At the end of conference, I told the missionaries, “I want to be baptized.” I have since served a mission myself and have taught many others the wonderful truths of the restored gospel.

I know that God has blessed us by calling prophets again. God loves us and speaks to us through modern-day prophets.

Maicon B., São Paulo, Brazil

I Am Not Ashamed

Our Space

While attending a boarding school, I lived in a hostel with other students. I tried my best to live the principles of the gospel by praying and studying the scriptures often.

One day a classmate noticed me studying the Book of Mormon on my bed. She began to angrily list all the ways she thought that my church was false. She then told everyone else in the hostel about my “strange” beliefs. Some classmates began to mock me and my religion; others just avoided me. I finally hid my Book of Mormon under a box of my clothes and studied only the Bible so my classmates would stop taunting me.

I went on studying the Bible until I came across Romans 1:16, which proclaims: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” I realized that by hiding the Book of Mormon, I was showing my classmates that I was ashamed of my beliefs. I retrieved my Book of Mormon and asked Heavenly Father for forgiveness. Then I went to my peers and bore my testimony of the restored gospel. Most of them stopped insulting me and became my friends again.

I know that God understands the trials we pass through. When we stand up for our beliefs and show that we are “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,” He will provide us with His power, protection, and direction.

Pamela O., Abuja, Nigeria

Service through Signing

Our Space

When I was six months old, my first sign was “milk” and, several weeks later, I verbally said “panda.” I am capable of hearing, yet my first language was American Sign Language. My mom had served an ASL mission and then continued to study sign language in school, and she wanted me to know it too.

Sign language has been an incredible blessing in my life. It’s allowed me to see and learn so much more than I would have without it. It brings people together. I love being able to teach people what I know through one-on-one teaching and giving presentations in school and in church. It’s also really fun to watch general conference and other Church videos in sign language with my mom.

Having sign language in my life has been an incredible testimony builder. I am able to get to know more children of God than I would without it, and it’s also a great tool to use as a service for others. I am grateful for this blessing in my life and for the amazing people I have been able to meet and learn from.

Israel H., Oregon, USA