“Why Had I Asked Her Here?” Ensign, June 2000, 61
It was one of those Sunday mornings that started out early, the way so many do for a bishop. The meetinghouse was dark and cold, but it warmed up during our bishopric meeting and the ward council meeting that followed. Soon members began to arrive for Relief Society and priesthood meeting.
In my function as bishop, I usually met each Sunday with the priests quorum. Somehow on this particular Sunday I was drawn to attend Relief Society. Because I felt a need to meet with the sisters, I asked my counselors to handle the priesthood end of things. I met our Relief Society president greeting sisters at the door and asked her if I might sit in on the meeting. She welcomed me warmly and asked if I needed some time during the meeting to say anything. I told her that I didn’t, that I just wanted to sit in with the sisters and partake of the spirit of their meeting.
It was a wonderful lesson, and during the meeting I remember looking at one of the sisters in our ward, a widow, and having an overwhelming feeling that I needed to meet with her. Following the lesson and closing prayer, I approached this sister and asked how she was doing. She replied, “Just fine, Bishop.” I asked her if she was going to be busy later in the day and if she had a little time to meet with me. “I’d be happy to meet with you, Bishop. What time?”
“Let’s see, how about two o’clock?” I suggested.
I had some interviews after sacrament meeting, and the last person walked out of the office at about five minutes to two. There, sitting on the bench outside the office door, was this fine sister. I had somehow forgotten we were meeting. I invited her in, and we sat down.
My mind raced as I tried to remember why I had asked her to meet with me. I was sure there had been some reason I needed to talk to her, but now I couldn’t remember what it was.
“I have to be honest with you,” I began. “I asked you to come meet with me because this morning during Relief Society meeting I had a feeling come over me that I was supposed to talk to you. But I don’t have the slightest idea what we’re supposed to talk about.”
Tears welled up in her eyes and began rolling down her face. “Bishop,” she said, “I know why you asked me to come visit with you today. I have a problem I’ve been facing and don’t know what to do about it. I’ve been fasting and praying since yesterday for an answer, and I need to talk to you about it.”
By this time I had tears in my own eyes and a lump in my throat. We talked about the situation, and she was able to clear up some things that weighed heavily on her mind. She left the office uplifted, and I sat there alone—humbled. I thought of my weaknesses and imperfections and how I was struggling to do the right things for the Lord as His servant. Once again I realized just how much Heavenly Father loves His children and in how many ways He answers their prayers.