While on a trip with my family from Nevada, USA, to Alaska, USA, I struck up a conversation with a tall, attractive, friendly lady across the aisle.
She asked me where I was going, and I told her we were heading to Juneau, Alaska, to visit our son and his family. She told me she was from Las Vegas. Then, becoming emotional, she added that she was going to Juneau to visit her in-laws to have a memorial service for her husband, to whom she had been married for 20 years. He had recently passed away from cancer.
I looked across the aisle and thought to myself how fortunate I was to know the plan of salvation and to be a temple worker in the Las Vegas Nevada Temple. I wondered what I could do for this woman to lift her spirits.
Suddenly, as clear as a bell, I remembered a quote by the Prophet Joseph Smith I had handed out in Relief Society. When he organized the Relief Society, he observed that the sisters “will fly to the relief of the stranger; they will pour in oil and wine to the wounded heart of the distressed; they will dry up the tears of the orphan and make the widow’s heart to rejoice” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 452).
I looked across the aisle once more. I saw a stranger in distress, a widow with a wounded heart. I remembered that I had read the July 2011 Ensign earlier that day. It contained some uplifting articles I thought might give her some encouragement and comfort.
I gathered my courage, opened the magazine to an article, and asked her to read it. I watched her closely and was surprised that she read every single line—intently. When she had finished, she read another article.
Evidently something she had read touched her heart. She hugged the magazine tightly against her chest and then wiped a tear from her eye.
“Where can I get a magazine like this?” she asked me. I told her she could keep it. Then she read some more.
When we arrived in Juneau, she grabbed my hand, looked straight into my eyes, and said, “Thank you.”
I learned a great lesson from that experience. We are surrounded by strangers with wounded hearts who need a kind word of encouragement and who need to know what we as Latter-day Saints know.