What a Loaf of Bread Taught Me about Ministering
June 2024

“What a Loaf of Bread Taught Me about Ministering,” Liahona, June 2024.

Latter-day Saint Voices

What a Loaf of Bread Taught Me about Ministering

What could I feed my daughter this evening that would work for her diet?

photograph to accompany article about ministering

My friend Wendy is a fantastic cook. From the day she moved in down the street from our family, she has been sharing food with us. She always has an excuse: “This won’t fit in my fridge,” or “I made too much!” No matter what she says when she brings her offerings, what I always hear is, “I love you.”

I felt her love for our family particularly after one very difficult day. One of my children had recently been diagnosed with an eating disorder, and everything about food was getting complicated and stressful at our home.

One night my daughter and I were meeting with her therapy team. At this meeting she was given a meal plan, and I was tasked with making and planning three meals and three snacks for her every day. These meals and snacks had to meet certain dietary guidelines that would help restore her weight.

For me, this task was overwhelming. I’m not much of a cook, so receiving such specific guidelines and anticipating trying to get my reluctant child to eat so much food nearly brought me to tears. As we drove home, my mind fixated despondently on one thought: “I don’t have anything that’s right for her evening snack tonight.”

Arriving home, I trudged through the door and immediately smelled something delicious. There, sitting on the kitchen counter, was a loaf of banana bread Wendy had delivered while we were gone. It contained a grain, a fruit, and a fat—perfect for the evening snack we needed! Even better, my daughter ate it willingly.

When I called Wendy later to thank her for the bread, I didn’t share the backstory. She probably wondered why I was a bit emotional over her gift. Wendy didn’t know we were struggling. She had simply made “too much” banana bread and didn’t want it to go stale.

A few months later, as I listened to a podcast about being covenant keepers, I wondered what being a covenant keeper really means. Then Wendy’s gift of banana bread popped into my mind.

When Wendy followed her heart and brought us bread that day, she had mourned with those who mourned and comforted those who stood in need of comfort (see Mosiah 18:9), even without knowing the whole story. And it made such a difference.