How to benefit from Institute of Religion as a young adult

As a student attending the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, I have found the institute of religion, in a way, provides me with a family away from home.

Specifically, institute has helped me in the following ways:- We have a Friday forum at which the institute supplies lunch and provides a speaker. Thus, we are fed both temporally and spiritually at these weekly gatherings.

  • Through quality instruction I have learned a lot more about the scriptures.
  • In my classes are young people who range in age from 18 to 30, including many who are returned missionaries. I have benefitted by interacting with other students who have greater knowledge, experience and insight than I.
  • Involvement in institute gives one the opportunity to meet prospective mates who share one's beliefs and values.
  • Institute helps me identify and form friendships with other LDS students at the university.
  • Institute teachers are very approachable and will counsel with students individually on questions or concerns.
  • Our institute has an extensive library of Church books available for doing research when preparing talks and lessons.
  • Friday night activities and the informal gatherings at the institute kitchen provide alternatives to possibly unwholesome social activities. - Coralee Johnson, Cardston, Alberta

How we did it:

Wonderful opportunities

I found that institute classes offered many wonderful opportunities to learn and grow both spiritually as well as socially. Now being on my mission, I can see that the classes I took paid off. In D&C 11:21, we read: "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men."

I know the Lord provided these classes for us to learn and grow. - Elder Jeremy Everts, Washington Tacoma Mission

Peace, joy

Institute has administrators and instructors who teach with the Spirit and teach the things that are helping us as students. The benefits of institute include the following:

  • Classes that help me deal with problems in other classes, have a better attitude and seek help in times of distress.
  • Devotionals that help us find ourselves as young adults.
  • Activities to help us develop our social skills.

Institute brings peace and joy. Learning of my Savior brings comfort to me and helps me realize that He is the One who atoned for my sins. Learning of Him makes me appreciate Him more and the blessings He's given me. - Karen Nihipali, Kanab, Utah

Helpful in home teaching

Institute has been helpful in my home teaching as I have used manuals from the classes to answer questions from my families, and has helped me learn the gospel because I am a convert and did not join the Church until my middle 20s.

Institute has broadened my understanding of the Book of Mormon and helped me understand the Church's positions on controversial subjects. - Philip B. King, Tallahassee, Fla.

`People my own age'

After my mission, I moved out of my parent's house in Virginia and drove across the country to live and work in Utah. Some time after arriving and getting settled, I began to meet people my own age. Most of them were students. When we got together, they would talk about school and study; I felt left out. One Sunday, the bishop in the ward I was attending mentioned a class he was taking at the institute of religion adjacent to the University of Utah. I decided that since I was not spending time studying scholastically, I might as well take the plunge and just go and register for institute. The goal was to study just as I would if I were taking a college math class. My first course was a Doctrine & Covenants class that turned out to be the neatest experience since my mission. My second class was a family history class using computers. With the knowledge gained from that, I still make trips to the Family History Library and now share a common interest and understanding with my grandfather. I just finished a Book of Mormon class that really opened my eyes not only to Book of Mormon events, but also to the eternal plan, my personal worth and purpose. - Jeff Wright, Salt Lake City, Utah

Soul was touched

Eight years ago I was attending the University of Cincinnati and started investigating the Church. I already had the missionary discussions and had read the Book of Mormon, but I still had many questions. My friend who introduced me to the Church invited me to attend an institute class that week. My roommate and I attended, and I was impressed by the friendliness of everyone and the quality of gospel discussion.

The next week the institute group was going to the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, N.Y. I went along. We got to tour many of the Church historical sites and see the pageant. At the Peter Whitmer farm something very special happened to me. My soul was touched and a personal witness was borne to me that the Church was true and I should baptized.

The next week I was baptized. Most of the institute class was there supporting me. Later a beautiful young lady from the institute and I began dating and we were married for time and all eternity in the Atlanta Temple one year after my baptism.

Institute has a very special place in my heart. I was searching and found answers, friends and the truth by participating. I thank the Lord and the Church for providing this wonderful program. It made the difference in my life. - Tim Griesdorn, Bridgeport, W.V.

Spiritual enhancement

I am 19 years old and in the Missionary Training Center now awaiting my opportunity to serve my mission in Uruguay. One of the key reasons for my strong testimony is the wonderful classes I took at the institute of religion in Orem, Utah. I was so blessed to be able to take advantage of the wonderful institute program provided by the true Church for the spiritual enhancement of its members. The social aspect is great as there are other LDS students who are also desiring that which you desire: good times in college life and to live righteous values. I think it's foolish for any college age student not to participate in institute.

I have a strong testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. I promise that any college-age young adult will do better in their studies at school, be trained in gospel topics by qualified teachers who love to teach the word of God and, most important, will come closer to God by seeking His word, obtaining His word and sharing His word. The institute program will do this for you if you sincerely take advantage of this great blessing from the Lord. - Elder Mark Benson Steinagel, Provo, Utah

How to checklist:

Gain from knowledge, insight of teachers, other students

Study for institute class as if it were a college course.

Attend devotionals and activities; take part in full program.

Befriend other young adults attending institute.

Write to us:

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July 29 "How to respect the privacy of family members and/or roommates."

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Aug. 12 "How to make the transition easier both physically and emotionally when moving to a new area."

Aug. 19 "How to be enthusiastic yet wise about member-missionary work."

Aug. 26 "How to find comfort after the death of a pet."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, or send fax to (801) 237-2121. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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