I’ve always worked well with younger children and thought that someday I would follow in a profession that involved them. It was just a few short months ago, with some encouragement from a good friend, that I decided to pursue a teaching career.
I then proceeded to research my options and discovered a demand for enthusiastic teachers. To see exactly what I was getting myself into, I volunteered to help at an elementary school.
Through a program at my high school, I began working with first-graders. Little did I know the lessons I was about to learn.
I observed, astonished, at how these students’ regular teacher transformed the alphabet from shapes into sound. Q, R and Z became sounds, and then words, and now somehow these five- and six-year-olds can actually read. The kids didn’t even know what was happening. It was all fun to them. They felt no pressure; they were just playing a game.
Now the children had mastered the basic tool of reading. As they continue to read and gain knowledge, their regular teacher and I are there to encourage them, help with the difficult words and explain the meanings of things.
While I was going through this teaching and learning experience, a friend at high school asked me why I can’t go out on Friday nights. I told him it is “because of my religious beliefs” and left it at that.
I thought that would be the end of the matter, but it wasn’t. He continued his questions, so I described for him a short version of God’s plan.
The fall Holy Days were fast approaching. I told my friend that my family and I would be gone for a few days, and he asked more questions. Warming to my subject, I told him, in basic terms, about the Holy Days.
He asked even more questions. There’s only so much I will tell at school, so I told him that if he really wanted to know he could talk to my mother.
He talked to her. “What is this plan Abbi has told me about?” he asked.
She explained the Holy Days and their meaning.
My friend thought her explanation made a lot of sense, so, the Sabbath before the Feast of Tabernacles, he went to church services with our family. He said he enjoyed services a lot.
He must still have been curious about the Church because while we were gone for the Feast he crawled through a bedroom window of our home to get some Church literature to read.
My friend was seeking more knowledge about the truth, and he obviously was pretty desperate. He did call us at the Feast to apologize for entering our house without permission. My parents told him to borrow anything he was interested in, but next time just please use the back door.
He now plans to attend Sabbath services regularly with us.
Like the first-graders I help teach, my friend has been given tools to seek knowledge. I am glad we have so much to offer, and I am glad that our Church is committed to doing a work for all the people like him in the world. Like those first-graders, many in the world are hungry and eager to learn what we have to give them.
Watching my friend’s excitement has given me a new zeal for God’s truth. I think it’s called first love!