I’m a teacher. I’m originally from Ohio, where there aren’t really very many Mormons. The religious experiences that I had there caused me to turn away from organized religion for 22 years. When I was 21, I moved to Vegas. I taught in southwest Vegas for nine years, and there was a large LDS population at the school at which I worked. For years, at the beginning of the year, a group of students would come up to me, and one of them would say, “Hey Ms. Bowers- we’re Mormon.”
I had no idea why they were doing that.
But regardless, I always knew who the Mormons were, because they told me. If I ever had any questions about their religion, they were more than happy to share. Also, I noticed that they were a lot different from the other kids. They were kinder, more polite, and more responsible. If they got a grade they didn’t like, they didn’t say that it was because I didn’t like them. Instead, they came to me and asked what they could do to improve their grade. Then they followed through, made the necessary corrections, and earned a higher grade. Even when they didn’t know that I was watching, they behaved pretty admirably. I remember seeing one of them react to an adverse situation, and thinking to myself, I wish I was more like that. That’s not something that a thirty something usually thinks about a thirteen year old.
At the time, I had three small children. I decided that I wanted them to turn our like the Mormon kids, so that meant that I needed to find out what the Mormons were doing to make their kids turn out so well. I started asking more questions, and reading more.
Towards the end of the year, I was facing some difficult challenges. I was crying every day before school, and all through my lunch. After a couple days of that, a group of my LDS students asked if they could eat lunch with me. I said yes. They ate lunch with me almost every day of fourth quarter. I couldn’t believe that this group of thirteen year olds was willing to give up the one free half hour they had every day to eat lunch with a teacher. But they did. I called one of the girl’s mothers to ask her about the church. She thought I was calling because her daughter was in trouble, which I don’t think had ever happened before. When she realized that I was calling about church, her mood improved immediately. She sent her daughter to school with a Book of Mormon, and I started going to church with them after the school year ended. I got baptized four weeks later. I am so grateful for those kids, the examples that their parents set for them, and the examples that they set for me. I cannot imagine my life without the church. I depend on the gospel every day.
~ Rosemary Bowers
That’s a great lesson in remembering to live the gospel in everything we do. Wish I had been a good example back then like these kids were/are! (Hugs from Henderson, NV!) Thank you for sharing with us.
What a great story. It’s proof that children can be missionaries, too. Hugs!
What a joy to teach such great kids! Love your story!
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Rosemary! *HUGS*
Wow. Great story! And kudos to that great group of kids.
You took the words right out of my mouth! 🙂 What a powerful witness of the importance of our everyday choices!
Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ll have to remember it if I’m ever asked to teach youth again.
Thank you for reminding me of our responsibility to BE Latter-day Saints throughout our lives; not just at church nor just among our fellow Mormons. Literally, the whole world is watching.
Love this story and the faith and example of those teenagers. Thanks for sharing!
One of my friends in 8th grade was that kind of example. Thank you for sharing your story.