Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: More Blessed to Give


Thomas S. Monson
From an April 1992 general conference address.

More Blessed to Give

Giving to those in need is important. President Monson tells of a Sunday School teacher who taught him to share.

I express gratitude for a Sunday School teacher [named] Lucy Gertsch. She was beautiful, soft-spoken, and interested in us. She made the scriptures actually come to life.

We undertook a project to save nickels and dimes for what was to be a gigantic party. Sister Gertsch kept a careful record of our progress. As boys and girls with typical appetites, we [imagined] cakes, cookies, pies, and ice cream. This was to be a glorious occasion—the biggest party ever.

None of us will forget that gray Sunday morning in January when our beloved teacher announced to us that the mother of one of our classmates had passed away. We thought of our own mothers and how much they meant to us. We felt sorrow for Billy Devenport in his great loss.

The lesson that day was from the book of Acts, chapter 20, verse 35 [Acts 20:35]: “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Lucy Gertsch asked, “How would you like to follow this teaching of the Lord? How would you feel about taking your party fund and, as a class, giving it to the Devenports as an expression of our love?” The decision was unanimous. We counted very carefully each penny and placed the total sum in a large envelope.

Ever shall I remember the tiny band walking those three city blocks, entering Billy’s home, greeting him, his brother, sisters, and father. Noticeably absent was his mother. Always I shall treasure the tears which glistened in the eyes of each one present as the white envelope containing our precious party fund passed from the delicate hand of our teacher to the needy hand of a grief-stricken father. We fairly skipped our way back to the chapel. Our hearts were lighter than they had ever been, our joy more full, our understanding more profound. We [had] learned through our own experience that indeed it is more blessed to give than to receive.

[illustration] Illustrated by Jewel Hodson