I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them. – Elder David A. Bednar
It only took a matter of minutes for everyone in my family and my sister’s family to have their fill of the pizzas they’d picked up on the way to our house. Half of each of our families was going to a football game, and I had the blessing of watching her littler ones. (Actually, my girls did most of the watching while I just delighted in the cousins’ interactions. We love having them here!)
As the football fans scurried out the door and things settled down a bit, I realized that we had a pepperoni pizza left over. But all of us left at the house were of the preferring-cheese-pizza variety.
I started scanning my brain to see if I could think of someone who’d enjoy some food. I called my neighbor, but they were already eating dinner.
And then the thought came to call my visiting teaching sisters.
I tried the football fan friend first.
“Hi, S. Is your family coming over tonite for the game?”
“Well, I have a pizza left over from our dinner and I wonder if you would like it.”
I wasn’t expecting her stunned response. “You won’t believe this,” she said, “but I just made homemade pizza and realized that we only have enough for each person to have one piece. I had just put on my shoes and put my purse over my shoulder to go back to the store when you called.”
Embedded in this tender mercy (what timing!) were two clear messages for me. First, I’m reminded that God really is aware of the details of our lives. (Moments like this are anchors for me at times when things are hard.)
Secondly, I was reminded of something Sister Julie B. Beck said in a talk a couple of years ago about the importance of visiting teaching:
A sister in this Church has no other responsibility outside of her family that has the potential to do as much good as does visiting teaching.
I feel that God wanted me to learn something through this miracle: If I I put the women I visit teach high on my list (second only to my family in the order of my priorities for service, if I’m reading Sister Beck correctly), He will be able to better bless them. (And bless me!)
I’m grateful that this lesson came at a time when the need for my friend was not critical. After all, S would have been fine having to go back to the store last night. But *I* needed to learn more — feel more — about what visiting teaching means to God, and about what it should mean to me as a covenant follower of Christ.
President Spencer W. Kimball taught…: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.” Brothers and sisters, we each have a covenant responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of others and serve as the Savior did—to reach out, bless, and uplift those around us. – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in April 2011 General Conference
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