Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This Is Your Phone Call

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

This Is Your Phone Call, by Bishop Richard C. Edgley
First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

Immediately after high school graduation, I embarked on a cross-country move from Omaha, NE, to Fort Hood, TX, to spend time with my sister and her husband. Not wanting to drive alone, I persuaded my younger brother, Cortney, to come with me for the ride.

About an hour out, we started to notice a problem with my car.

In Kansas City, the clutch gave up the ghost, and we made our awkward way—high revving, slow moving—through downtown to find a mechanic (this was in the days before cell phones, of course). We placed a call to our father for advice and help. He took the number and advised us to wait while he did some groundwork at home.

Only a few minutes later, he called us at the shop to give us the name of a family that was on their way to pick us up and take care of us for the couple of days while the car was being repaired. Apparently, he called our bishop, who called our stake president, who called a stake president in Kansas City, who called a family, who agreed to help and came to our rescue.

All in a few minutes' time.

I was reminded of this experience when Bishop Edgley answered the how the church can respond so quickly to disasters:

“We are prepared, we have organization, we have empathy, and we have charity.” It usually just takes a few phone calls from presiding authorities to local leaders to mobilize hundreds and sometimes thousands of individuals to go to the rescue of their fellow brothers and sisters in distress.

While my brother and I weren't in need of thousands of people to help us, we were amazed at both the willingness of strangers to welcome two teenage boys into their home and with how quickly the process was underway.

We ended up staying only a short time with a wonderful couple in Kansas City. While we were there, they took us to a pageant at the Independence Visitors Center (which was great because we had visited the area as part of a youth conference just months before) and helped us to feel welcome in their home.

They even had a Mille Bournes game—a game that we had played as a family when we were quite young, probably before we even knew that the playing cards were in French—and Cortney and I had fun learning the actual rules as we played again.

I've thought of that kind family many times since. Unfortunately, we were young and foolish and neglected to record their name and address for future reference and the thank-you card we should have sent.

As we packed our things in our now-repaired car and continued on our journey to Texas, we discussed the kindness we had received and vowed to help others.

Relating the experience of stranded pioneers in 1856, Brigham Young spoke of the need to rescue them:

I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the celestial kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains.

I hope that I can see beyond my own circumstances to help and lift others, as I've been helped and lifted.

0 thoughts