“Oh, They Have Never Been Active”

by Ruth Heiner

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    As our missionary grandsons go out into their fields of labor and pick up where the last set of missionaries were, I am reminded of an incident that occurred at home and clearly illustrates the need for each member to be a missionary and an influence for good.

    Years ago when we moved from one ward to another, I was given a class of Primary boys to teach. As I asked about each boy on my roll card, my adviser answered about one, “Oh, you can’t interest that family. They have never been active!”

    Young, full of hope, and idealistic, I made personal visits to each home on the list prior to the first class. Upon visiting the home of the “inactive” boy, I discovered two other children of Primary age. After explaining the activities I had planned for the summer, I said that I would be happy to pick him up each week since my children wouldn’t fill up the car. In fact there would be room for all of them if they would like to go with me.

    I was treated very kindly and made to feel that they were happy I had come, regardless of the boy’s decision. “You give it some thought,” I said, “and I’ll drive by, just in case you decide to join us, okay?”

    The following week when I drove hopefully into their yard, my happiness knew no bounds, for not only was he all dressed up and ready to go, but the other two children as well!

    Many months later, during a cold winter when I found myself too ill to teach my Young Women class, in fact too ill to even take my children, my daughter’s new teacher offered to take them all with her for several weeks.

    This thoughtful teacher was the mother of my little Primary boy. She was not only active now, but one of my children’s teachers and a wonderful blessing to me and my family.

    Missionaries do not give up, although they may move on to bless others, and members must not give up, for our Heavenly Father does not give up on us!

    Each member and each missionary strives at his or her assignment in the time and place allotted, hoping that that time and place is right for the Spirit’s witness or prompting to have prepared someone to listen. And often those who listen do so because of the seeds which have been sown by others. Each contact is needful, and it is not when it happens that is important, but that it does happen.

    Illustrated by Brent Christison