Sowing before Sunday
April 1998

“Sowing before Sunday,” Ensign, Apr. 1998, 48–49

Sowing before Sunday

One springtime a few years ago, my mother invited her married children to plant and cultivate a community garden on our old farm. Several of us decided to meet during the school district’s spring break to prepare the ground and plant our crops. When spring break arrived, my husband was not able to go, but I decided to take our two small children and make the four-hour trip to the farm anyway. When we arrived, we found that the other families who had intended to come had been unable to make it after all. Only my mother showed up with two of her grandchildren—the oldest just eight.

The task ahead seemed formidable. We had to burn off weeds, till the ground, and plant 20 pounds of cut-up seed potatoes and 30 pounds of onion sets. Because of strong winds, we could not burn off the weeds. So the six of us worked all day Friday clearing dry weeds by hand from the garden area.

By evening we still had not finished. I began to worry that if we did not push ourselves even more the next day, the work would spill over into Sunday; however, because my husband and I are the only members of the Church in my family, I felt hesitant about asking my mother to work any harder.

Still, my mind kept coming back to some verses from the Doctrine and Covenants: “For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High; …

“Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours” (D&C 59:10, 16).

So I asked my mother, “Please let’s try and get the work done on Saturday, as Sunday is the Sabbath.”

She agreed to try, and that night as I knelt to pray my heart was heavy with worry. It just didn’t seem possible—there was simply too much work yet to be done. As I prayed to Heavenly Father and asked for help, I received a strong witness that everything would be fine, and a feeling of peace came over me.

We got up before dawn and checked the weather. It was misting with just a hint of wind. My mother looked worried and turned to me and said, “I don’t know, Nancy …”

“Everything will be OK, Mom. We can do it,” I replied.

Quickly we loaded our supplies, rounded up the children, and headed out to the garden. We began burning off the brush and lit some backfires to help control the flames. After two hours we were close to having the land cleared. During that time the wind had remained calm. When we finished, we hugged each other and my mother softly added, “Thank you, Lord.”

Just then my older brother and his teenage son drove up. They had decided to join us even though they were planting their own garden in town. The rest of the day was spent digging and planting. Then another brother returned early from an outing and joined us by midafternoon. Working together, we were able to get everything planted. By the end of the day we were exhausted, but the garden was in.

That summer will always remain special to me. Everyone helped, and we harvested more than 300 pounds of potatoes and 100 pounds of onions, as well as canned 600 quarts of vegetables. There was so much produce from the tomatoes, melons, broccoli, pumpkins, beans, potatoes, and onions that we could barely keep up with it. We had truly been blessed with the “fulness of the earth.”

As we gathered for dinner on Thanksgiving Day, I was asked to give the blessing. As I prayed, I shed tears of gratitude, for we had received so much. I had known in my heart that we would be blessed for keeping the Sabbath day holy, but never had I imagined the bounty of blessings we would receive.

  • Nancy Dahlinger serves as a counselor in the Relief Society presidency of the Wichita First Ward, Wichita Kansas Stake.