As an 18-year-old freshman at Utah State University, Bradon Capener registered for classes at the Logan Institute of Religion for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he admits he didn’t see the value and rarely attended.
It wasn’t until Capener returned from serving a Mormon mission a few years later and “decided to get involved” that he realized what he had been missing. Not only did the returned missionary come to appreciate the gospel more deeply through the instructors and spiritual classes, but he also found it fulfilling to help plan activities and interact with other students. In time he became the president of the institute's official campus club, the Latter-day Saint Student Association. The institute building became like a second home.
“I was lost until I found I could be involved there. I made a lot of friends, and it was a productive use of my time. It helped me transition from returned missionary to productive living,” Capener said. “There is nothing better than institute to help you make friends, learn, grow and be buoyed up.”
Capener is one of countless college-aged Latter-day Saints who have had positive experiences at institute, fulfilling the prophetic promise of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, who in 2009 asked college students to “make participation in institute a priority.”