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My most influential teacher: The companionship of the Spirit

Shawna Christensen
Shawna Christensen
Courtesy Craig Christensen

"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."

—2 Nephi 32:3

One recent morning as I knelt in prayer, I asked Heavenly Father to guide me to someone who needed me most that day. A thought quickly came into my mind that I should go to JC Penney. That thought surprised me so much that I even asked aloud, “JC Penney?” Upon asking, I felt a strong confirmation to go.

I quickly got into my car and on the drive over I wondered, “What in the world am I going to do at JC Penney?”

I parked at the entrance in front of the shoe department. As I walked into the store, I saw a young woman trying on a pair of shoes in front of a mirror. I felt a very strong prompting that I should go talk to her. So, I grabbed a pair of shoes to try on and walked over to the mirror and looked at this young woman. She was beautiful, with a kind and gentle countenance. I told her I liked the shoes she was trying on and she said she liked mine. Thus our conversation began.

She asked for my help in narrowing down her two choices of black low-heeled pumps. She said that she was required to have a black pair for work.

As we looked at shoes together, we began talking about other things. I learned that she was a recently returned missionary. She was a convert to the Church, having been baptized when she was 18. She was the only member of the Church in her family.

She said that she knew shortly after she was baptized that she wanted to serve a mission and when the time came, she decided to go. Her parents were upset by her choice to go and had cut her off financially. Her father and older brother no longer spoke to her.

She moved to Utah after her mission and was now working full-time and saving everything she made to pay for her college tuition and all the other expenses that went along with school.

As she went to pay for her shoes, I watched the transaction. Although she liked another pair of shoes better, she chose the pair that was two dollars less. She also handed the clerk a coupon for ten dollars off, reducing the price of her shoes to just a few dollars.

As she left the cash register, I walked toward her and said, “I know it’s not by accident or coincidence that I’m here. I know I was suppose to meet you today. What can I do to help you?”

She told me that she was required to have black shoes for work and that she had to choose between shoes or groceries. Then she said, “I am so hungry.”

I’m grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost that day. I was reminded that the Lord is aware of the one — the one who is hungry, the one who is mourning, the one who is burdened and the one who is lost. And because the Lord sends us on His errand to act for Him, we can have faith that as we reach out to help another the Lord will reach with us and magnify our efforts. Truly for me that day, the Holy Ghost was my most influential teacher.

Shawna Christensen is second counselor in the Relief Society presidency of the Provo Utah Sharon East Stake

"The Savior, the Master Teacher, is the perfect example of obedience to His Father. To be a Christlike teacher, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to follow the Savior’s example of obedience and live the gospel with all your heart— at home, at Church, and everywhere else. This is the principal way to qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost."

—“Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 2015