I would like to introduce Sister Laura Bradbury, an LDS member who volunteered to share her testimony and experience with the Church. Thank you for sharing with us, Sister Bradbury!
Hi there! My name is Laura Bradbury. I am a 27-year-old graduate student of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I graduate this December with my master’s degree in Social Work (YAY!).
I am a born and bred “Utah Mormon.” Although I grew up in a suburb of Salt Lake City called Bountiful (named after a city in the Book of Mormon) and my high school class was probably 95% Mormon kids, I still had to figure things out for myself.
When I was 15, I had reached what I felt was a crossroads in my life. I could follow friends who were choosing to reject the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or I could find out for myself which path was right for me.
As a teenager, I had a lot excitement about religion, and I loved to learn. I never felt like my spiritual knowledge was where it needed to be. I loved my life and I loved the fact that I was free from a lot of the drama and pain that accompanies the high school experience. Because I chose to be obedient to the principles that my parents and church leaders taught me, even before I understood them fully, I didn’t have to worry about drinking or drugs or sex. I remember feeling the Spirit of God touch me very gently when I prayed. It was so soft that I often wondered if I was imagining things.
One of the most remarkable aspects of our Heavenly Father’s plan is that we, as His children, have the opportunity to be taught by him and to learn and grow as our capacity for knowledge and growth increases.
“But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.”-Isaiah 28:13
When I was 21, I followed in the footsteps of my mom, and my older siblings, and clipped on a name tag to spend 18 months as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern New York. As a missionary, I had the opportunity to share more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I prayed to know how to be a good Gospel teacher and a good servant of my Heavenly Father. I noticed that God would give me what I needed to know in order to help someone we were teaching. He didn’t give me everything I needed to know, but He gave me what I needed to know to teach His Gospel.
“Our spiritual journey is the process of a lifetime. We do not know everything in the beginning or even along the way. Our conversion comes step-by-step, line upon line. We first build a foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ… We include a continuing commitment to prayer, a willingness to be obedient, and an ongoing witness of the Book of Mormon. (The Book of Mormon is powerful spiritual nourishment.)
“We then remain steady and patient as we progress through mortality. At times, the Lord’s answer will be, “You don’t know everything, but you know enough”—enough to keep the commandments and to do what is right. Remember Nephi’s words: ‘I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things (1 Nephi 11:17)’” –Elder Neil L. Anderson, October, 2008 General Conference
This past school year, I have volunteered as a seminary teacher. “Seminary” is a program for high school aged children designed to provide them with religious instruction to add to their high school education. The idea is that if we are able to help these young people feel the spirit each day, they will be better prepared to deal with all the challenges and emotional turmoil that come with being in high school. Once again, I have prayed for help. I have asked my Heavenly Father what I need to do to help these teenagers strengthen their faith in the Lord and arm them with spiritual knowledge and understanding. Once again, I have been reminded that although I don’t know everything, God will give me what I need to teach them. I am reminded of the scripture:
“Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not.” –Doctrine and Covenants 6:34, 36
I am so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so grateful for the strength my knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has given me. I am so grateful to know that I am not alone in this world. Even when I feel afraid and lonely, I know that God is watching over me, and that He stands ready to bless my life, whenever I humble myself enough to request His blessings.