All I Had to Give
Footnotes
Theme

“All I Had to Give,” Ensign, July 1998, 65–66

All I Had to Give

My first testimony of visiting teaching came when I was a young mother. It had been a very prosperous year for my husband and me, and we were enjoying being new parents. Then one day my husband came home from work and told me the company he worked for was going on strike. Thinking our supply of funds would never run out, we had not set any money aside for emergencies. Surely the strike would not last long. After two weeks went by without settlement, my eyes were opened. Bills kept coming in, and our food was running low.

One evening a friend of my husband who wanted to help us stopped by with a beef roast. I looked hungrily at it because we hadn’t had any meat for the past two weeks. I couldn’t wait to cook it the next day. After she left, the phone rang. It was my visiting teaching partner. She informed me that a less-active sister on our route had lost her father and that we’d been asked to bring in a meal the next day. I thought about the roast sitting in the refrigerator. It was the only thing I could prepare. I thought briefly about saying no but immediately felt guilty. Her need was greater than mine.

The next day the house was filled with the aroma of cooking meat. I also made homemade bread, but all the time I was cooking I was grumbling to myself about not having a nice dinner for my own family. Then a thought came clearly to mind: You will be blessed if you do this act of kindness.

My partner picked me up, and we took the meal over to the home. When we arrived, no one was home, so we quietly walked in and put the dinner on the table. I felt good about what we had done for this sister, but I still felt bad that all I had to offer my own family was macaroni and cheese—again.

The next day good things started happening. We received $50 as a gift, and more meat arrived from my husband’s friend, whose family owned a cattle ranch. The following week my husband returned to work. I was more grateful than ever for the visiting teaching program and for the chance to both serve and receive service at the hands of others.