The Blessing of Education

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(This is an excerpt from the book I Sit All Amazed.)

I graduated from Duke with high honors and was admitted to Brigham Young University’s Law School. I was eager to be associated with Latter-day Saints, since there were not many of us at Duke. In fact, there were only five out of five thousand! In the ward I attended outside the Duke campus, I was blessed to have Stephen Robinson—author of Believing Christ—as my first Gospel Doctrine teacher. Brother Robinson was a theology graduate student at the Duke Divinity School at the time, and his gospel understanding and exceptional teaching ability had a profound influence on me in those early months of my membership in the Church.

When I arrived in Provo, I reveled in the opportunity to learn more about the gospel. It was an exciting time for me spiritually.

I was also studying at a great law school. I was one of the youngest males in my class. In fact, most of the other students had served missions and were already married by the time they reached that particular academic level. My courses were demanding, and it was a competitive environment, but I was thrilled to be preparing for my career as an attorney.

I loved my student ward. I lived off campus in a sprawling apartment complex. Although I was studying at the same pace that I had established at Duke, which allowed for one night off per week, I still had a social life. I fell in love more than once, but my desire to get married was not reciprocated. And, yet, my mother had once promised me that I would meet someone very special, and I held out hope that her words would come to fruition.

While in law school, I spent my summers as a law clerk for Senator Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) in Washington, D.C.

After graduating from law school, I was hired as an assistant attorney general for the State of Utah. It is not surprising that the private sector was devoid of possibilities; not many law firms were interested in taking on a disabled applicant who could guarantee only that he could work forty hours per week. But I acknowledged my limitations and offered no apology. I was thankful to not only have a job, but to have landed a great job.

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