By Their Works

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“By Their Works,” Ensign, Jan. 1996, 80

By Their Works

Roof over Her Head

When Bruce Bybee, a member of the Selma Ward, Hanford California Stake, read in the newspaper about a widow who was in need of a new roof and a new front door, he knew that ward members could help. With the bishop’s approval, Brother Bybee began organizing the project.

Members of the ward volunteered their labor, and some businesses in the community donated materials and instructions. The response was overwhelming. Approximately 150 people were involved in the project from beginning to end.

A twenty-person crew started work on the project by removing the roof on a Friday afternoon. The next day another crew finished removing old shingles, repaired areas of dry rot, and made other repairs. The crews were led by volunteer contractors from businesses in the community.

As the job progressed, it became obvious that the repairs were going to be more extensive than originally thought. The actual value of donated materials and labor ended up five times higher than the original estimate.

Although professional builders had been skeptical that a church group of volunteers could complete the task in a reasonable time frame, the entire project was completed in about a week.

“I never could have believed something this great could come to me,” wrote Jean English, the home owner, in a letter thanking those involved in the project. “I am so thankful. May God bless each one of you and thanks.”—Loretta Gipson, Kingsburg, California

Building Bonds of Sisterhood

In an effort to make temple attendance a high priority, Relief Society sisters in the Kingwood Texas Stake spent six months preparing for a stake Relief Society temple trip. “Our stake president, Raymond D. Steward, invited every sister to fast faithfully once a month in the six months prior to the trip to contribute to the success of this temple day,” explained stake Relief Society president Dianna Evans Hanson. “We wanted the Spirit of the Lord to touch each of our sisters’ lives in a way that would bond us together as sisters in the gospel and give each of us a renewed commitment to ourselves, our families, and the Lord,” she said.

After preparing and planning for six months, 250 sisters boarded six buses and traveled more than five hours to spend a day in the Dallas Texas Temple. Fourteen of the sisters received their own endowments, and several others attended to participate in baptisms for the dead.

“There were sisterhood bonds that were established,” Sister Hanson said. “It was a high point in our year, and we are already making plans for next year’s trip.”