“Hands,” Ensign, June 1974, 5


When I was a young girl I loved to walk with my father and hold onto his hand. It was strong and warm, and his large hand covered my tiny one entirely. My dad was a farmer, and as I looked at his hands I wondered how he got cuts so often and even purple fingernails now and then. But I usually never asked him. I just held tightly to his fingers and went where he guided me.

Years passed by and I became a teenager. Once when I was with my grandmother, my gaze fell upon her hands. They were big-knuckled and wrinkled, with the veins standing out. The skin was work-worn and the knuckles on her right hand were larger than those on her left hand. I didn’t ask her anything about her hands—I was busy thinking of other things. And I barely glanced at my own mother’s hands.

Years passed by and I became a new bride. I still love to hold my husband’s hands. His love and understanding guidance have always been there in the gentle touch of his hand through all the years.

Now my hands are engraved with lines of experience. The years have carved creases in my hands from caring for our babies, whose hands were pink and sweet and a gift from God. My hands are carved with lines that came from helping our growing children through sickness and health. Their hands are soft, smooth, muddy, greasy, clean, sweet smelling, busy, tender, tough, and helping hands.

Today my hands are big-knuckled and wrinkled with veins standing out. The knuckles of my right hand are larger than those of my left hand. The skin is work-worn. If I could place them by my grandmother’s and my mother’s hands we would see our hands look alike. We would not have to ask each other how they became so lined and creased. We would just smile, recognizing that time had taught us much.

Years will pass by, and the time will come when we may see our Savior’s hands, with their lines of supreme love and sacrifice. His sacred, nail-scarred hands may then gently touch ours—if we are worthy to hold such precious hands.