Firm Foundations
September 2020

“Firm Foundations,” New Era, Sept. 2020, 30–31.

Firm Foundations

Missionaries Teach My Class

missionaries and young people

Illustrations by Dave Perillo

In one of my classes in high school, some Buddhist monks came in to give a presentation on their religion. The class responded well and asked lots of questions, and as the presentation went on, I thought about how cool it would be to have Latter-day Saint missionaries teaching my classmates about the gospel.

The thought kept nudging me until I found myself in front of my teacher requesting to work on a presentation with the missionaries to present to the class. My teacher gave an enthusiastic yes!

As I worked with the missionaries to prepare for the class, I worried about how people would respond. I prayed hard that the students would ask questions, that I wouldn’t embarrass myself, and, most of all, that the presentation would help me teach about the gospel.

That day when I walked into class with the missionaries, my hands were shaking. But then the missionaries began to speak. The students in the class were actually interested in the discussion, and for many of them, this was their first introduction to the Church. I slowly began to feel the warm feeling of the Holy Ghost telling me that I had done the right thing in having this presentation.

Since that experience I’ve grown to trust in the Lord more. I now have more courage to stand up for my religion and even to seek out missionary experiences.

Grace M., Alaska, USA

Texting or Scriptures?

boy with phone and scriptures

Last year, I had two amazing friends, James and Bartholomew.1 When I met a few of their friends, I started hanging out with them every day, and Bartholomew added me to a group chat they were all part of.

At first it was great! I could talk to my newfound friends all the time. But over time, my mum began to notice changes in my personality and emotions. I would be on my phone until late, I procrastinated doing my homework, and I stopped studying my scriptures and praying because I was preoccupied with texting. My friends and I would argue a lot too, so I was also upset a lot. I spoke to my mum, and she told me what she had been noticing and that I needed to spend less time with those friends. I began to spend less time texting them and got back on top of all my schoolwork and gospel study.

Now going into my next school year, I am still friends with James and Bartholomew and a few of our other friends. But I am much happier now, and I spend less time on my phone. I know that making the right friends is very important, as it says in For the Strength of Youth: “Everyone needs good and true friends. They will be a great strength and blessing to you” ([2011], 16). The next time a situation like this comes up, I’m going to be careful. I don’t ever again want to feel the way I did then.

Joshua C., United Kingdom

“Elder, Pray!”

two men

As I left the missionary training center in Provo, Utah, USA, I had a very long flight ahead of me, with three layovers before I would finally arrive in my mission in Recife, Brazil. When I landed in Rio de Janeiro for the last leg of my journey, I missed my flight. It was rebooked, but I was left with a 14-hour wait in a country I had never been in before, and I couldn’t say much in Portuguese.

Hours passed as I sat there feeling lonely, forgotten, and tired from all the flights. As I began to cry, a voice said to me, “Elder, pray!” I prayed for help harder than I ever had before. As I said “Amen,” I heard a man sitting directly behind me speaking English. I turned and tapped his shoulder. The man was a returned missionary from South Africa who was fluent in both English and Portuguese. We got something to eat together, and he helped me communicate with my mission president. He helped strengthen my testimony that God will never forget His children! I felt His love that day, and I can truly testify that He hears our prayers.

Sione T., Oregon, USA

  1. Names have been changed.