We Shared a Song

On a recent tour of Bible lands, I was struck by one cleaning woman’s pleasant appearance and cheerful acceptance of the duties required of her. Toward the end of our stay I happened to be alone with this woman for a few moments. We exchanged greetings, so I knew she spoke English. Impulsively, I asked her to sing me a song of her childhood. Her dark eyes shone, and I knew my request had pleased her. After thinking for a moment, she sang a song in a language I did not understand. When she stopped singing, I said, “Tell me what it means.”

She replied, “It is Arabic and a song of Jesus, who loves me. Now, will you sing one to me?”

I sang my favorite, “Jesus Once Was a Little Child,” learned in Primary years ago. After the first phrase, I was surprised to hear her join me, and we sang together the rest of the verse. I could hardly believe it. In spite of the differences of our cultures and nearly nine thousand miles between our homes, our hearts were in the same place—filled with joy shared in a child’s song of Jesus. Delila G. Williams, Spanish Fork, Utah

A Perfect Day

It could only happen at our house! This morning when I have just settled down to ironing, a friend calls—the one who likes to talk. By the time she hangs up, my iron is out of steam. I start to wash a load of levis, and remember I’m out of soap. The phone company calls to say I forgot to pay the bill. The hose to the vacuum is plugged, and I discover that someone has vacuumed more Tinkertoys than carpet. And the day is only half gone!

My Relief Society visiting teachers come, and for a few minutes I forget my troubles and let a bit of encouragement sneak in.

But first thing in the afternoon, our daughter has the sewing machine fouled up, and I struggle to hold my temper and patiently explain the complicated mechanism to her. Then our sons need a catcher for their baseball team, so I set the sprinkler on my flower bed and join the gang for a game. It looks like it might rain.

Back home, someone has spilled Kool-Aid where I stand; my feet stick to the floor.

In the evening, as I say family prayer, I somehow understand that the Lord has blessed us this day. We are, after all, safe and well. And a ray of peace warms my heart at bedtime when I discover a note our Johnny has left under my pillow. It is written in a beautiful childish scrawl. “Dear Mom. I love you very much. You are the very best mother in the whole wide world.”

I brush a tear from my eyes and swallow the lump in my throat. All is well. My day is complete. Ruth House, Lovell, Wyoming

My Revelation

I had been inspired by the previous Women’s Fireside, but this time—six weeks pregnant—I expected to find even more counsel appropriate for my life and concerns.

From the first lines of the opening song I felt part of a vast community of sisters. Wise speakers highlighted gospel principles and helped me to shift my focus from mundane matters to the “solemnities of eternity.” As the speakers shared experiences from their own lives, I felt a bond of empathy and inspiration. I sensed the Lord’s awareness of each of us as individuals with unique questions. I recognized the Lord’s confidence and encouragement for us to cultivate the rich powers and talents we’ve been given. As the meeting concluded I felt eager to participate in a vibrant sisterhood that knows no boundaries of race or generation.

At home after the fireside I knelt at my bedside, still reflecting on women in the gospel’s plan. Feeling close to the Spirit, I found my perspective clearer and my prayer more articulate than usual. As I thought about the child I was going to bear, I heard myself ask the Lord to “bless that daughter—that sister—who is to come.”

My mind challenged that prayer’s prediction; but a quiet dignity of spirit whispered that this was a special and sacred communication—one I pondered often during the seven months that followed.

When Britta Christina—my daughter, my sister—was born in April, I saw in her bright eyes the ageless love of God for his children, a confirmation of the reality of revelation, and the marvelous potential for women in the world and in the Church today. Linda H. Kimball, Chicago, Illinois

[photo] Photography by Eldon K. Linschoten