As I sat listening to the testimonies of 16 departing missionaries heading home in a few weeks’ time, my thoughts returned to a memory, a clear image from my childhood.
To the store…
My mum had asked me to go to the corner shop, to buy a loaf of bread.
I duly did so, returning with the bread, and chewing a toffee.
She asked, “What are you chewing?”
“A dainty” (a toffee), I replied.
She had given me the exact money for the bread.
At that point, I confessed, I’d stolen it and chewed it all the way home.
And back again…
Gently and lovingly, she took me by the hand, and escorted me back to the corner shop, to confess my guilt and pay for the stolen goods.
In those few minutes of real need, mum was there… to help, support, guide, lead me along, and walk with me, by my side.
That day, I learned an important lesson in life.
Rushing into my mind, came a reflective connection.
I thought about each of the 16 missionaries and the one-by-one moments I’d had with them.
As each of them stood to share their personal testimony, I had a very bright recollection; a specific thought was impressed upon my mind.
Metaphorically, I took them by the hand to help them find their way, like a parent with a child.
A coaching conversation, a walk around the park, kneeling in prayer together, in studies with one another, a role play, a priesthood blessing, a telephone call, talking at the dinner table, having a meal in a restaurant, or simply travelling in the car…
Moments, just like mum had helped me to face a struggle decades ago, I was now there for each of them in their time of need, trouble, or distress.
I felt gratitude.
I felt privileged.
I felt honoured.
In our times of need, we were there “hand in hand,” side by side, for each other.
“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34)
As we freely show the Saviour’s love through our actions and service to others, we too can feel the same love in return.
How can you feel the Saviour’s love?