“Don’t forget to wear your mittens, Ross,” Mother called.
Ross was so excited to collect fast offerings that he had forgotten to put on his mittens. He could hardly believe he was finally a deacon. He knew that one of his duties would be to collect fast offerings. And today was fast Sunday. Ross hurried back inside, slipped his thick wool mittens on his hands, and rushed out the door.
Outside, Ross was met by bright sunshine and a cold breeze. He jumped down the front steps into the snow. Ross loved the way the world looked after a snowstorm. The sunshine and snow almost made him forget about the troubles his neighbors were facing. He had heard adults talking about the Depression. He didn’t really understand what that meant, but he knew that some of his friends’ dads had lost their jobs. The bishop had taught him that the fast offerings he collected would be used to buy food for those in need and to pay for coal to keep their houses warm.
Ross joined his friend Tom, and they set off. At the first home a woman answered the door. “I’m sorry, boys,” she said. “My husband lost his job, and we don’t have any money to give.”
At home after home they received the same answer, but at the Hansen home Sister Hansen invited the young men inside. She placed two dimes and a nickel into Ross’s hand.
“We feel so blessed that Brother Hansen still has his job,” she said. “I’m sure someone can use this money.”
As they left, Ross opened his hand and looked happily at the three silver coins. He dropped them into his pocket. After stopping at a few more homes, Ross hurried home.
“Look what I have!” he yelled as he rushed into his house.
Mother came into the room. Ross reached into his pocket and pulled out a dime and a nickel. He reached back into his pocket for the other dime, but he couldn’t feel it. He took off his mitten and reached in again. It wasn’t there.
“I lost a dime,” he said, almost in tears. “What am I going to do?”
“Let’s pray for help,” Mother said.
They knelt together, and Mother prayed that Heavenly Father would help them find the dime.
As they stood, Mother took Ross by both hands, looked into his eyes, and said, “Ross, listen carefully and do exactly what I say. Follow your tracks in the snow back to where you put the money in your pocket. Look carefully until you find a small hole in the snow. When you find the hole, gently brush away the snow and you will find the dime.”
Ross hurried outside. It was easy to follow his tracks, and he was soon near the Hansen home. “I think it was here that I put the money into my pocket,” he thought.
Looking around, he found a small hole in the snow. Carefully, he started to brush the snow away. Soon there was a silver sparkle, and there was the dime, just as his mother had said.
Ross held the coins tightly in his hand as he walked to the bishop’s house. He delivered the 25 cents and then hurried home.
“Mother, I found the dime, just like you said,” he said as he ran into the house. “And now I know that Heavenly Father heard and answered our prayer.”
Today, fast offerings are collected in envelopes that are opened by the bishopric or branch presidency.
Illustrations by Mike Laughead