Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Joy in Serving

It’s July, and as hot as well, hot as a day in July. I wonder if we could fry eggs on the sidewalk. I heard that expression many times when I was a child and always wanted to try it. My mom wouldn’t let us. Besides wasting an egg it would make an awful mess to clean up.

I think my mom was one of the most influential women in my life. I say one of because I remember things that my Grandmother told me, see the way my sister lives; remember things different teachers have taught and even now hear things my daughter tells me that are having a great effect on my life. What a unique opportunity we women have to influence those around us. Two of the women I met here in Virginia that have had a profound influence on my life have left this week to start new lives on the other side of the world.  I miss them, but I know they will meet and love and be loved by the new sisters they get to know and teach. 

I belong to a woman’s organization, which has had great meaning in my life. Wherever I move, whatever crises erupt in my life, I know I can call for help and empathy  from another woman, a sister, to guide me, to teach me, to comfort me.
This is the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They have become my friends, my family away from home.

Boyd K. Packer wrote about Relief society,” This great circle of sisters will be a protection for each of you and for your families. The Relief society might be likened to a refuge—the place of safety and protection—the sanctuary of ancient times you will be safe within it. It encircles each sister like a protecting wall.”

In the book, Daughters In My Kingdom, I read about a young woman, Bobbie who moved with her family from the United States to Taiwan for six months. Even in this short time, her Taiwanese sisters encircled her in the protective influence of Relief Society. A terrible earthquake shook the country with its epicenter near her home. Within hours the Relief Society president arrived on her bike to make sure Bobbie’s family was all right, and then went to visit each of the other sisters in her ward.

I have felt this security and refuge. I have appreciated it. It has made my life a little easier. I am grateful to the Relief Society president who took my two year old son every day for two hours so I could take care of my ill husband; the one who came and got my ironing when I was in bed with a difficult pregnancy; the one who took me to her quilting group when I was in mourning; the ones who encouraged me in my writing; and the one who helped me to go to the temple by taking me. We have a new president now. I hope you have a chance to get to know her. She’s terrific and just in case—she rides a bike.

What opportunities do you have to serve and nurture those around you?

What women have had an influence in your life.

Hope you are having a lovely summer and that the heat isn’t getting to you.

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