Sprinklers, Sod, and Saints
March 1991

“Sprinklers, Sod, and Saints,” Ensign, Mar. 1991, 20

Sprinklers, Sod, and Saints

The weeds around the Daineses’ newly built home and unfinished yard were several feet high. The young couple had planned on finishing the yard, but the defiant weeds seemed to symbolize the family’s sometimes overwhelming struggle against the hardships life had recently brought them.

Alan and Carol Daines had lived in Mapleton, Utah, for only five months. They finally felt settled and had even made some close friends when a division of the stake sent them into an unfamiliar ward.

This change in itself was a trial for Carol. She felt empty inside and worried that she would have to start explaining all over again about their two sick little boys.

Five-year-old Adam had been born with spina bifida. He was confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk. And because of complications, he had been placed in the Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. The predicted two-week stay had lengthened to almost two months.

During this same time, the Daineses’ new baby boy, Tyler, was born. He also had spina bifida, as well as a few other problems. He, too, was at the Primary Children’s Medical Center on life-support systems. Carol spent most of each day with the two boys. The couple had sent their other two children—Tiffany, nine, and Eli, seven—to stay with relatives. The family prayed for courage and endurance. They read the scriptures, which often helped. But the burden of worry was still heavy to bear.

Thoughtful members of the new ward—the Mapleton Third Ward—worried, too. They worried about the stress the Daineses were feeling and about their new home. Recognizing that the dry weeds around the new home were a fire hazard, men and boys showed up one Saturday morning with rakes, shovels, hoes, forks, tractors, and trucks. Within a matter of hours, they transformed the yard.

The next day, priesthood leaders thanked the volunteers. But one high priest stood and said, “This is not enough. This family has had great trials recently, and we need to do more. We should put in a sprinkling system and lay sod. As a ward, we can do this, and as a family, they need our help.”

Ward leaders granted permission for the project, and volunteers contacted supply houses and acquired estimates. Ward members donated the needed funds, and the work began.

Several men installed and tested the sprinkling system. Volunteers of all ages turned out to help lay sod until what was once a half-acre weed patch became a beautiful green lawn.

Volunteers were again thanked for their help. But a special thanks came in the next ward fast and testimony meeting, when Carol stood in front of her newfound friends and bore her testimony of the love of Christ that had helped her to endure her recent trials.

“For months when we had come home from Primary Children’s Medical Center and had driven up the driveway, we saw nothing but dry weeds,” Carol said. “It was almost too much. But the Lord knew our need.”

She shared with the congregation a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 121, where the Prophet Joseph Smith cried out in despair, “O God, where art thou? …

“Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.” (D&C 121:1, 6.)

The Lord had answered: “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee. …

“Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.” (D&C 121:7–9; italics added.)

“As I looked out my window and saw so many ward members working on our yard and laying the green grass, I felt the pure love of Christ,” Carol explained in her testimony. “I knew I could continue to endure and have the strength and courage to go on.”

Many hearts felt the Spirit at that fast and testimony meeting, and tears freely fell. Ward members knew that they had done more than clear weeds, install sprinklers, and lay sod. Their warm hearts and friendly hands had given the Daines family a quiet miracle.

  • Dona Coats is public communications director in the Mapleton Utah Stake.