I gave a talk in church today. My mom came and listened, and I came home and asked her about it, and she said I needed a story in there sometime.
I agree. I remember the talks with stories. The scriptures are full of stories. Stories teach and last.
Here’s an example:
A couple of years ago a humor columnist for a local newspaper wrote on a serious and thought-provoking subject. I quote from this article: “Being a go-to-church Mormon in Utah means living so close to fellow ward members that not much happens that the entire congregation doesn’t know about in five minutes tops.”
He continues: “This kind of cheek-to-jowl living can be intrusive. . . . It also happens to be one of our greatest strengths.”
The author goes on to say: “At work on Tuesday, I caught the noon news broadcast on television. A van had been obliterated in a traffic crash. A young mother and two small children were being rushed to emergency rooms by helicopter and ambulance. . . . Hours later I learned that the van belonged to the young couple living across the street from me in Herriman, Eric and Jeana Quigley.
“Not only do I see the Quigleys in church, . . . we ate dinner with them at a neighborhood party the night before the crash. Our grandkids played with daughters Bianca and Miranda. . . .
“Fourteen-month-old Miranda suffered serious head injuries and died three days later at Primary Children’s Hospital.
“Here’s where all that nosiness . . . pays off. Although the accident occurred several miles from home, the dust literally had not settled before someone from the ward stopped and was pulling through the wreckage. The rest of the ward knew about it before the cops and paramedics showed up.
“Ward members went to all three hospitals, contacted Eric at work, and organized into labor squads. People who didn’t get in on the immediate-need level were frantic for some way to help.
“In 48 hours, the Quigley yard was mowed, home cleaned, laundry done, refrigerator stocked, relatives fed and a trust fund set up at a local bank. We would have given their dog a bath if they had one.”
The author concludes with this insightful comment: “There is a positive side to the congregational microscope my ward lives under. . . . What happens to a few happens to all” (“Well-Being of Others Is Our Business,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 30, 2005, p. C1).
That’s from an address entitled “Enduring Together,” by Bishop Richard C. Edgley.
Stories like that make me want to be better.