The Absentee Blessing
September 1990

“The Absentee Blessing,” Ensign, Sept. 1990, 27

The Absentee Blessing

My nonmember next-door neighbor and her husband were busy making preparations for the birth of their third child, going to Lamaze classes, and enjoying the attention of neighbors and friends who shared their excitement.

The day arrived and, in spite of the couple’s detailed planning, the baby was born in their home, assisted only by the husband (who, later, visibly proud of their accomplishment, said, “It was nothing.”).

So that the family wouldn’t have to worry about meals after their momentous day, I prepared a special dinner and filled a basket with some fruit from our backyard and some surprises I knew the couple’s two young children would enjoy. Late that afternoon, dinner and basket in hand, I knocked on their door.

After a few minutes of visiting with the parents and their new baby girl, I laid the food out on the table and wished them all a restful night.

I then went home to prepare dinner for my family and soon became immersed in my own responsibilities. But I felt incomplete and uneasy, as if something hadn’t been finished. Searching for a clue, I reflected on how warm and good I had felt about the service I had performed earlier. Suddenly, I knew what was missing. I went to my room, knelt by my bed, and asked Heavenly Father to bless the food I had prepared for my neighbors—to help them enjoy it and help them feel of his Spirit as they partook of the joyful givings of my heart.

That day I learned that the joy of giving can be much greater if we give with a prayer on our lips that the receiver will be able to enjoy the gift and feel of the love with which it is offered and the spirit in which it is given.—Leslee Grigoruk, Yorba Linda, California