November 15, 2013

My Institute Attendance

Since moving back home while I finish my last year of college, I started attending church after 3 years in-activity. When I came home from my mission I did what every return missionary does, I applied to a church school. I went to BYU-Idaho and enjoyed my time there. I was called as Elder Quorum President and was the spiritual leader in my six man apartment (as I was the only RM). I made a lot of friends through my program, church and the apartment guys. After finishing my first semester at BYU-I, I decided for several different reasons, I could no longer stay there and I transferred to a state school in Oregon.

At my school in Oregon there is a Church Institute building two blocks away. When I started school I was actively going to church on my own. So it only made sense that I also went to Institute, plus it fit into my schedule. The teacher was great (in fact I just found out last year that he is the father of a very famous MOHO blogger but that's as much as I will reveal about him). It was a nice place to go between classes and eat lunch or steal an hour laying on the couch.

After I stopped going to church, I slowly stopped attending Institute. Not really sure why, but I just did. When I moved home and started commuting to school via car, I needed to park somewhere. I could have chose to pay a few hundred dollars each term to park in the school's parking garage, or I could attend Institute class and park for free at the church building (remember it's only two blocks away. So I started attending classes again at the building. The new Area Institute Director was my young mens leader growing up and I viewed him as a friend. Plus the old Institute teacher was there and I enjoyed being in his class.

I found it awkward, now that I was disfellowshipped, to be participating in a church class again. I told myself that while I didn't see a need to out myself, I would try to be as honest as I can in answering questions during class. This year there is a new Institute teacher, who I have come to like as much as the old teacher, but the class I am in is small (I am one of two students). This teacher, unlike the other teacher, gets us to participate a lot more in class. So I am answering a lot of questions and sharing stories.

I have remained true to my decision to be honest in class. I don't say what the teacher wants me to say. For example, he asked us to share our testimony about the gospel and after a long pause (about 30 seconds) I said something like, "For me, there is so much to question, but there is one thing I never question, and that's the Plan of Salvation. For me its true and I love it." That was it, and of course he loved the answer. When asked how my scripture reading is going, I honestly say, "nonexistent".

There have been one or two times, with this teacher and the last, I felt like coming out, either during class or in private, but it never materialized into the smooth opportunity I like to have when coming out. I would feel very comfortable telling the teacher, and that's one reason I like going to Institute. But don't get me wrong, the parking is the best perk.

1 comment:

  1. Parking was always my number one reason to attend institute :)