When new neighbors moved into a house up the street, I was mindful of the hardships faced by the previous family who had lived there and regretted the missed opportunity to serve them.
The mother of the previous family had been diagnosed with leukemia. At the time, she was the Young Women president, and though I attended church regularly and lived close by, I did not know her or her family well. They were new to the ward, and I was busy rearing six sons. When I heard about her terminal illness, I yearned to help, to say something consoling, but I felt inadequate and uncomfortable reaching out to someone I did not know well.
Now, with a new family moving in, I determined to become friends. They were warm and loving, and the friendship grew easily. Soon after their arrival, however, a tragedy occurred—the couple’s baby died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Remembering my hesitancy to reach out during the previous sister’s time of need, I wondered what to do—anything, even something small. How could I express my heartfelt sorrow to this family? I knew their hearts were broken, and this time I determined not to be afraid to reach out.
“I can make rolls,” I thought. “They have to eat sometime, and rolls are easy to make.” I knew that baking rolls would not compensate for the loss of a child, but it was something I could do to show my love and concern. When I went to their home with my humble offering, I realized that my visit offered a small bit of consolation—the rolls were not necessary, but they had given me a reason to visit.
Since this experience, I have realized how often my fears have prevented me from serving as the Savior taught. It is important to show we care—through visiting teaching, home teaching, or visiting during a time of need. At first, we may wonder what to say, but the Spirit of the Lord will guide us if we put aside our fears and reach out to others (see Moses 6:32).
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