Throughout the scriptures we find that the Lord uses teenagers to further His work and strengthen His kingdom. David was just a teenager when he fought Goliath. Mormon was only sixteen when he was asked to lead the Nephite army. And Joseph Smith was just a teenager when he received the First Vision. Even today, young people are pioneers as they join the Church and then help their families and friends find the truth.
Tlhalefang Kgosiemang discovered the Church when she was only thirteen years old. She recalls, “The members were so welcoming, I thought, ‘This is a good place to be.’ I went by myself, though my parents were very supportive. They figured that if a teenager wanted to go to church, that was a good thing. When I asked my father for permission to be baptized, he said, ‘My child, I can choose some things for you, but I can never choose your religion.” Eventually her example and testimony led to her mother, brother, and sister joining, as well.
Recently, Tlhalefang’s father asked her to come to his shop, saying, “I need to speak to you.”
“What is it? Are you dying?” she joked back.
Then she reports, “Our chat was so sweet. He said to me, ‘I just wanted to thank you. Your decision to join the Church was such a blessing for our family. It has made my life so peaceful and happy. When you were a teenager, I never worried about where you were or what you were doing. And then your mother and brother and sister joined. A wife that is a member of the Church is an absolute blessing. And your brother has served a mission and your sister plays the piano beautifully. Thank you for blessing our family.”
But Tlhalefang’s faithfulness also blessed her extended family. She was very close to her grandmother, who passed on in November of 2001. In Tlhalefang’s words, “I thought of her often and dreamed of her almost every night. We would be sitting side by side near a pool of water, and it seemed so real that I was surprised when I woke up and it was just a dream. This went on for about five years. Finally I spoke to my mother about it, and she said, ‘You know what this means, right?’ And I said, ‘I think I do.’ So on December 20, 2006 we came to the temple to do her work, even though I was about seven months pregnant.
“My mom was doing the baptismal ordinance, but somehow the ordinance was incomplete. After trying five times, my mom finally said, ‘You know, I think your gran wants you to do this for her.’ When I went in with my huge belly, it only took one try to do the baptism. And after we finished all the other ordinances, I never dreamt about my granny again.”
Tlhalefang closes with her testimony, “The experience with my grandmother strengthened my testimony about the importance of family history and temple work.”
Like the valiant teenagers of ancient scripture, when this single teenager chose to follow the path of righteousness, many generations of both the living and the dead were blessed. Through one young person, many souls can find the gospel and receive the ordinances of salvation.