My next-door neighbor recently invited me over to his backyard to see some changes he was making. He had already constructed a small pond and lined it with rocks. A sculptured stone fountain, which needed to be placed in the center of the pond, was sitting on the grass next to it. My neighbor explained to me how the water from the pond would eventually be pumped up through the fountain and spill over into the pond. As I reached over to the large sculpture and attempted to move it back and forth, I quickly realized how heavy it was.
“About 400 pounds (181 kilograms),” my neighbor volunteered, reading my mind. “I need to figure out a way to lift the fountain and place it carefully in the center of the pond.”
I listened as he suggested some of the methods he had been considering to move the fountain. He had thought about hiring a crane to lift it over the edge of the pond and carefully lower it into position.
The solution seemed obvious to me. “Why don’t you just get a bunch of guys to lift it up and put it where you want it?”
My neighbor’s response to my suggestion made me realize how blessed I was to be a member of the Church. He looked at me and asked, “Where would I find that many men who would be willing to help me?”
A lump of gratitude formed in my throat as I gratefully responded, “You name the date and time, and I will get all the men you need.”
Before I left, we discussed how he would construct a wooden framework around the sculpture to allow at least 10 men to lift it.
A few days later, at the appointed time, men and young men from our ward Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthood quorums arrived to help a man they had never met. My neighbor had finished building the wooden frame that would allow the large group of men to get a firm grip and lift the heavy sculpture.
Under my neighbor’s direction, these brethren easily lifted the heavy fountain and placed it gently in its prepared location. The job took less than 10 minutes. Everyone shook my neighbor’s hand and offered further help. This was a spiritual experience for me, for the ward members, and for my neighbor.
We may sometimes take for granted the blessings we receive from being a part of a ward. Being surrounded by a ward family filled with love and a willingness to serve and help each other is just one of those blessings.
Lift Where You Stand
“Most of the priesthood bearers I know. … are eager to roll up their sleeves and go to work, whatever that work might be. They faithfully perform their priesthood duties. They magnify their callings. They serve the Lord by serving others. They stand close together and lift where they stand.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Lift Where You Stand,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 54.
Illustration by Paul Mann