Compassionate Service


Without warning, my husband had a stroke, and I had to take care of him twenty-four hours a day.

Sometimes in our church we think only of our dear sisters offering and doing compassionate service. But it is the high priests in our ward who have served our family.

One day, without warning, my husband suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side. He spent two and a half months in the hospital, and when he came home, I had to take care of him twenty-four hours a day. Other members of our family, who live many kilometers away, called and wrote letters filled with kind words of encouragement, but it was impossible for them to come and help me take care of my husband.

My husband had been home from the hospital only a day when our home teacher, Cliff Barton, stopped by to see how the high priests in our ward could help. We decided that my getting away from the house for a few hours each week would be the best therapy for both me and my husband.

Since then, loving and caring high priests have come to stay with my husband for a few hours each week. They have brought spiritual and intellectual enlightenment through sharing magazine articles, stories, humor, and companionship.

Men we knew only casually before are now dear friends because they have given of themselves in precious service to us. The first Monday of every month, without fail, the telephone rings; it’s Brother Barton wanting to know my schedule for the month so he can arrange the visits.

These men are wonderful, caring, and tender. Their happy visits have made the long, cold winter days shorter, the dull days brighter, and the sunny days more brilliant.

There’s no question that in my ward, the brethren know how to serve.

[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Snow

Thelma Williams serves as Relief Society music director in the Oak Hills Fourth Ward, Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake.