Friday, March 22, 2013

What Relief Society means to Jean Marie

I can't stop thinking about this story that my friend Jean Marie shared last Sunday in Sacrament Meeting.  The story is very sweet -- and I love that Jean Marie got out and did something instead of feeling bad that she didn't have any friends (speaking of charity).

Here's an excerpt from her talk:

But what does Relief Society mean to us, the men or children who are not members of the organization?  What does it mean to us as a ward or a society?  Well, I believe the lesson of Relief Society is charity and extending that gift to others, no matter if we are a sister in the organization or not.  I would like to use an example to illustrate that principal in practice – it is a story about a man and a man who is not a member of our church. 

I was in Nebraska one summer and I really didn’t have any friends so sometimes I would go down to the homeless shelter and help sort and organize clothes in their donation store which was like the Goodwill.  I was just minding my own business when  I saw a mom come in with a boy about 10 years old.  The boy looked around, dragging a plastic bag behind him.  Apparently he needed some new tennis shoes so he went up to the store clerk who was also organizing clothes.  The boy asked the clerk for some new shoes.  The clerk took the little boy and with utmost respect and compassion showed off the rows of dirty, wrinkled, and worn shoes.  He had the little boy try on several pairs and treated the boy as if he were in Nordstrom (or a high end department store) instead of where he really was: a homeless shelter’s dingy donation room.  I was so touched by this experience.  The clerk had the boy glowing with a new pair of dusty and worn shoes.  I thought about how that store clerk took the time to listen to the boy and treated him like the Son of Royalty – which, in fact, he was. 

I think this man exemplifies the kind of charity the Relief Society espouses.  The Relief Society has shown all of us what a truly loving Father and Savior we have, whose love knows no boundaries nor conditions.  Relief Society has helped me understand that Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, cares about me and my life.  But not just me and my life either.  His mercy and grace extend to everyone on this planet.  I am so grateful for that knowledge.  

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I love this! "Treated like royalty" is exactly how the RS treats those they serve.