I wanted to share this story from the Sunday School lesson Sunday. The section was on using gifts of the spirit to serve others.
“As we were busily preparing for a Christmas dinner, my teenaged
sister excitedly reached into the cupboard for the silver-rimmed china.
The lovely … set had been Grandmother’s wedding present to Mom and Dad
and was used only on special occasions. But as my sister removed some of
the precious plates from the cupboard, she bumped her arm and the china
slipped from her hands. Her desperate attempts to recover the plates
were in vain, and the crash of china shattering on the floor was as
heartbreaking as the look of helpless horror on her face.
meal-preparing hands stopped in midair, and the festive chatter of a
bustling household ceased as we all stood frozen in awful silence.
Without turning around to see the damage, Mother quietly slipped out of
the room. Then … the rest of us tried to resume the tempo of our holiday
“Except my sister. She stood motionless, a big tear
trickling down her cheek. As another tear fell, she mechanically found
the broom and dustpan and began sweeping up the scattered chips. Then on
her knees, she slowly picked up the larger pieces and carefully placed
them in the dustpan.
“Within a few minutes Mother returned to the
kitchen and wrapped her arms around her grieving daughter. My sister
began to sob out loud. … Quietly [Mother] soothed, ‘That’s all right,
honey; people are more important than things.’
“Mother later told
me that she had gone into the other room to pray and was blessed with a
peaceful feeling and the inspiration of how to comfort my sister. The
gift of spiritual perspective given to my mother that Christmas day
became the most priceless gift our family received” (Laura Russell Bunker, “The Art of Perspective,” Ensign, Dec. 1998, 54–55).