Sunday, November 28, 2010
I have seen many shepherds who feed their flocks. One was the president of a deacons quorum. One of his quorum members lived near my home. That neighbor boy had never attended a quorum meeting nor done anything with the members of his quorum. His stepfather was not a member, and his mother did not attend church.
The presidency of his deacons quorum met in council one Sunday morning. Each week they were fed the good word of God by the fine adviser and teacher. In their presidency meeting, those 13-year-old shepherds remembered the boy who never came. They talked about how much he needed what they received. The president assigned his counselor to go after that wandering sheep.
I knew the counselor, and I knew he was shy, and I knew the difficulty of the assignment, so I watched with wonder through my front window as the counselor trudged by my house, going up the road to the home of the boy who never came to church. The shepherd had his hands in his pockets. His eyes were on the ground. He walked slowly, the way you would if you weren't sure you wanted to get where you were headed. In 20 minutes or so, he came back down the road with the lost deacon walking by his side. That scene was repeated for a few more Sundays. Then the boy who had been lost and was found moved away.
Now, that story seems unremarkable. It was just three boys sitting in a room around a small table. Then it was a boy walking up a road and coming back with another boy. But years later, I was in a stake conference, a continent away from the room in which that presidency had met in council. A gray-haired man came up to me and said quietly, "My grandson lived in your ward years ago." With tenderness, he told me of that boy's life. And then he asked if I could find that deacon who walked slowly up that road. And he wondered if I could thank him and tell him that his grandson, now grown to be a man, still remembered.
He remembered because in those few weeks he had been, for the first time in his life that he recognized, watched over by the shepherds of Israel. He had been warned by hearing eternal truth from people who cared about him. He had been offered the bread of life. And young shepherds had been true to their trust from the Lord. It is not easy to learn to do that well and do it consistently.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be athree days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days:
23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
Alma 36:10, 16
10 And it came to pass that I fell to the earth; and it was for the space of three days and three nights that I could not open my mouth, neither had I the use of my limbs.
• • •
16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a dammed soul.
8 And it came to pass that I was three days and three nights in the most bitter pain and anguish of soul; and never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins. But behold, I did cry unto him and I did find peace to my soul.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
Luke 24: 7
Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard
Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
“And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: … and the
barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the
word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah” (1 Kings
Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
This made me cry... It made me hope that I don't need such a wake-up call to more fully appreciate motherhood. Motherhood doesn't come easy to me. I don't like pregnancy. I don't like the sleep-deprived days of infants. -- and I don't consider myself very good at parenting in general. Of course I love my kids- and have been blessed with some very exceptional children. But I know that in theory- I should be enjoying and appreciating this time more- and giving more of myself to them.
Happy Mother's Day!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
By Garnee Faulkner
Garnee Faulkner, “Fresh Crab and French Bread,” Ensign, June 1985, 38–39
It was a typical winter day in San Francisco, cool and damp. We had lived there a few years before and were back renewing memories. Seeing the large, steaming crab vats as we walked along Fisherman’s Wharf, I exclaimed, “Oh, let’s take some crab home to Emma.”
“Crab?” asked my husband. “Why crab?”
“I don’t know. Maybe she would enjoy it.”
Sensing my ever-present desire to bring cheer to a grieving widow in our ward, Ron counseled me to find a more easily transported gift. He suggested that we find something more suitable in one of the souvenir shops beckoning us.
In and out of the shops we went, searching in vain for just the right memento. Empty-handed and tired, we started for our car, only to pass the crab vats once more.
“Ron, I still want to take some crab to Emma,” I pleaded.
He was still resistant to hauling crab 150 miles, especially when I wasn’t even sure Emma liked it. Nevertheless, we asked the vendor about transporting un-refrigerated crab that distance.
Soon we were crossing the Bay Bridge with the crab carefully wrapped in many thicknesses of paper; a long loaf of the Wharf’s famous french bread was tucked in the side of the sack.
On the trip home my thoughts turned to Emma. I remembered the sacrament meeting ten months before when Emma, her husband, Ed, and their oldest son, David, had spoken just before David left to serve a mission. That was the last time we saw Ed. After accompanying David to the Missionary Training Center, Ed suffered a fatal heart attack while still in Utah. He never returned to California.
Ed was a gifted surgeon, highly respected in our community. His passing was felt deeply. In addition to Emma, he left six children, the youngest just a toddler.
Though many grieved with the family, it was difficult to express their sympathy because Emma was extremely reserved and quiet. Few knew her well. As the months went on, her sorrow did not seem to lessen. Grief and poor health found her withdrawing from activity outside her home.
I was determined to be her friend, her sister in the gospel, and not let fear or personal rejection dilute my concern. Each week I went to her home, sometimes to be invited in while she shared her heartache. Other times she met me at the door but quickly terminated the visit with, “Thank you for coming.”
As I rang the doorbell that day I could hear many feet running to answer. The door opened. Emma, surrounded by her children, stood there puzzled at my brown sack and protruding loaf of bread.
“Yes?” she inquired.
My spirits were dampened by her coolness, but I faked enthusiasm over our trip to the city and the gift we had brought.
As she took the fresh crab and french bread, Emma asked, “Is this for any special occasion?”
“No,” I replied, “I just thought you might enjoy some crab from the Wharf.”
“Thank you very much,” she said, expressionless, and closed the door.
I returned to the car and slumped down into the seat, deflated. All I could say to Ron was, “I’m not sure Emma likes crab.” We finished the drive home in silence.
Two days later came the following letter:
My dear friends:
I was very touched by your kind gesture last night and feel compelled to share a few thoughts with you.
Yesterday morning began with the usual daily tasks. I was out sweeping the walks when I looked up to the heavens and, noting the vast, billowing, white clouds, asked, “Ed, do you know what day this is? Do dates have a meaning in heaven? Can you possibly know how much I love you and how desperately you are missed; how I long to be taken into your strong arms and held again just for a minute?”
With tear-stained cheeks I wanted to know if he remembered twenty-three years ago, or even two years ago this day.
All day long memories came rushing back. I remembered our first trip to San Francisco and how cold it was as we walked by the steaming crab pots at the Wharf. Ed was so handsome in his Navy uniform. He always took my hand in his, and holding it tight placed both in his overcoat pocket. How comforting the warmth was. I could see him sitting in the cable car, with his boyish grin, a loaf of bread and a crab under each arm. So many times he repeated this procedure.
San Francisco was our playground. I cannot begin to count the number of seminars and scientific meetings we attended there. To learn more was almost a disease with Ed. After each session we always ended our stay by going to the Wharf. A loaf of bread and a fresh crab became symbolic of a wonderful time together. Now that he’s gone, I wonder what mysteries of heaven he is exploring, what avenues are being opened to him. So many unanswered questions … so impatient I am.
Yesterday was a difficult day to get through. In late afternoon a beautiful floral arrangement arrived with a card from the children declaring their love for me. It was heartwarming. As I looked at the two little ones, then at Eddie and Janet and Miriam—then remembered David—I could see a part of Ed in each and realized that my cup runneth over.
Then at the close of day when I opened the door and saw you standing there with a loaf of bread and a package of fresh crab, it was like a direct message. You denied knowing it was a special day. Therefore I felt it was Ed’s way of saying, “Happy anniversary. I do remember.”
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
“My boy,” queried the bishop, “do you believe that if I take this other forty-five dollars you will get your two hundred dollars quicker?”
“Certainly,” replied President Grant.
Here was a demonstration of faith which the bishop could not withstand. He took the remaining forty-five dollars.
President Grant testified that on his way from that fast meeting back to work, “an idea popped into” his head, acting upon which he made $218.50. Speaking about this incident years later, he said, “Someone will say that it would have happened anyway.
“I do not think it would have happened. I do not think I would have got the idea, …” he said.
“I am a firm believer that the Lord opens up the windows of heaven when we do our duty financially and pours out blessings upon us of a spiritual nature, which are of far greater value than temporal things. But I believe He also gives us blessings of a temporal nature.” (Improvement Era, Aug. 1939, p. 457.)