In a recent missionary preparation class at the Bellingham Institute of Religion in Washington, two students were given an assignment to prepare for the next session of the class. They were asked to be prepared to teach the apostasy and Restoration to the class as if the members of the class were not members of the Church. They were also told that they would have only 15 minutes to teach the concepts. They were encouraged to use the scriptures, their student manuals and Preach My Gospel.
The two young women took the assignment seriously and determined that they would do their best. One of the young women had been raised in the Church, and the other was a convert of about eight months. They contacted the full-time missionaries to get help in modeling the lesson and also, while practicing their lesson, were critiqued by the missionaries.
Not content that their teaching was where it should be, they decided to practice on their non-LDS neighbors. One young man who lived nearby had been particularly negative about the Church in the past, so they asked if they could practice their institute homework on him.
He probably would have said no, but at the time his girlfriend was at his apartment and she remarked that she always thought it would be good to learn more about the Church, so they both agreed to hear their practicing.
At the end of the discussion, the young man stated that although he did not want to "become a Mormon or anything, I can now see why you believe the way you do. … It does make sense." His girlfriend also liked what she heard and asked if she could have a copy of the Book of Mormon.
She is now involved in taking the discussions, and the two students have placed another Book of Mormon as a result of their continued practicing for class.
As our students become more comfortable with understanding and then teaching the gospel to others, their own testimonies grow in leaps and bounds.
By the way, they did a great job teaching the class. — Brian Nelson, Bellingham, Wash., Institute director