Reach Out to Others

From a devotional address given at Brigham Young University on November 13, 2007.

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President Monson teaches that we can be happy when we reach out to others.

Reach Out to Others

To find real happiness, we must focus outside ourselves. Many have come into the Church—or at least have come to know and respect the Church—because someone made the effort to reach outward. I share with you a treasured family experience which had its beginning back in 1959, when I was called to preside over the Canadian Mission in Toronto.

Our daughter, Ann, turned five shortly after we arrived in Canada. She saw the missionaries going about their work, and she too wanted to be a missionary. My wife demonstrated understanding by permitting Ann to take to class a few copies of the Children’s Friend [now called the Friend]. That wasn’t sufficient for Ann. She also wanted to take with her a copy of the Book of Mormon so that she might talk to her teacher, Miss Pepper, about the Church.

Just a few years ago, long years after our return from Toronto, we came home from a vacation and found in our mailbox a note from Miss Pepper which read:

Dear Ann:

Think back many years ago. I was your schoolteacher in Toronto, Canada. I was impressed by the copies of the Children’s Friend which you brought to school. I was impressed by your dedication to a book called the Book of Mormon.

I made a commitment that one day I would come to Salt Lake City and see why you talked as you did and why you believed in the manner you believed. Today I had the privilege of going through your visitors’ center on Temple Square. Thanks to a five-year-old girl who had an understanding of that which she believed, I now have a better understanding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Miss Pepper died not too long after that visit to Salt Lake City. How happy Ann was when she attended the Jordan River Utah Temple and performed the temple work for her beloved teacher to whom she had reached out so many years ago.

A Little Girl Grown Up

Ann M. Dibb

Photograph of Sister Dibb by Busath Photography

Ann Monson has grown up and married now, and her name is Ann M. Dibb. She was just four years old when her father became a mission president. She can still remember what the carpet and the furniture in the mission home looked like. She remembers kneeling and praying beside her bed when she was seven and feeling the Spirit tell her that the Lord knew her. When she was nine, her father became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. She has two brothers, so she is the only daughter in President and Sister Monson’s family.

Sister Dibb has a beautiful, warm smile, and she still loves to reach out to others. She likes to write notes and make cakes and pies for people. In general conference in April 2008, Sister Dibb was sustained as second counselor in the Young Women general presidency. She travels all over the world, meeting young women and inspiring them to follow the Savior’s example and reach out to others.

Planting Gospel Seeds

Reaching out to others is one way you can share the gospel every day. Each time you tell the truth, are helpful and kind to your friends, or live the gospel standards, you are sharing the gospel. When you do these things, you are planting tiny seeds of the gospel in people’s hearts. Some of those seeds may someday grow into beautiful, strong testimonies of the gospel.

Look at the scenes below. On each seed, write a word that tells one way the child is sharing the gospel. One is done for you. Then color the beautiful flowers that grow from each seed.

President and Sister Monson in 1961 with Ann and her brothers, Tom (left) and Clark (middle).

Illustrations by Beth M. Whittaker