What a wonderful thing a ward family is. There hasn’t been a ward I’ve attended that hasn’t been quirky, diverse, interesting and at times trying. It’s a good thing we are divided by area and cannot choose where to attend. We have no choice but to associate with a diverse lot of people. I think that is healthy.
In our ward yesterday we heard testimonies from ward members who rarely speak. It was delightful. One of the best testimony meetings I can recall. One fellow who spoke was so moved by what he was telling us that he had to choke back tears. His elderly mother has Alzheimer’s disease and he could not be certain what was getting through to her. She responded to him touching her hand, rubbing her back, and whispering to her during his last visit. His comments focused on charity toward others, and the great example he pointed to was the group responsible for caring for the people at the facility where his mother was located. They were primarily Hispanic. They labored with smiles on their faces and showed such genuine care for the people that he had to thank someone as part of his last visit. He spoke with a woman working there, and thanked her and the whole staff through her for the kindness, charity and love they show while providing care for the people they serve. The woman was grateful for his comments. His whole testimony was about charity and caring for others. It was quite moving, and a reminder again of how many opportunities there are to provide service to others.
Another fellow spoke about his baptism, long ago in the South. He was baptized in a “muddy stream” when he was young, and he can remember how cold it was on that day. It was the first time my children had heard him speak, although we have been in the same ward for nearly two decades. They all were surprised he had a southern accent. And they all said they now “really loved the guy” because of what he said and how he said it. Before they hardly noticed him because he was so very quiet.