Giving Away Joy

“Giving Away Joy,” Ensign, December 2016

Latter-day Saint Voices

Giving Away Joy

Latter-Day Saint Voices

Illustration by Stan Fellows

My husband and I were missionaries serving in Tarbes, France, in the Pyrenees Mountains. It was Christmas Eve, and we decided to go down to the city at Verdun Plaza to give away copies of the Book of Mormon. The street was deserted, and we started to ask ourselves what we were going to do with so many books. Suddenly, we saw a young man who seemed to not know where to go.

We approached him and offered him a Book of Mormon. He became joyful as he listened to us talk about the gospel. He explained that he was alone that Christmas night and that he would read the Book of Mormon and not feel alone.

After he left, we looked around the street again and saw a woman walking slowly toward us in the cold night. A glimmer of happiness shone in her eyes when we presented her with a Book of Mormon. She told us that she had become a widow recently and was happy that we were concerned about her. She said she was extremely grateful to us. As she walked away, we saw her hold the book against her heart.

That night we distributed every copy of the Book of Mormon that we had brought with us. Most of the people whom we gave them to were alone, distressed, and very much in need of love. We went back home that night with the impression that we had received the greatest Christmas gift because of the joy that we were able to give to others.