Our Personal Ministry
On her way to the front door, she suddenly stopped and thought, “Who am I to make a tie for the prophet? He probably has plenty of them.” Deciding she had made a mistake, she turned to leave.
Just then Sister Kimball opened the front door and said, “Oh, Susan!”
Stumbling all over herself, Susan said, “I saw President Kimball in his new suit on Sunday. Dad just brought me some silk from New York . . . and so I made him a tie.”
Before Susan could continue, Sister Kimball stopped her, took hold of her shoulders, and said: “Susan, never suppress a generous thought.”
I love the phrase, "Never suppress a generous thought." President Parkin immediate followed up that story with this one.
Some years ago, at the conclusion of a Utah Board of Higher Education meeting, Elder Neal Maxwell submitted his resignation. He said he needed to do so to make time for his personal ministry. Most of the board members assumed he was referring to his apostleship. However, he explained that his personal ministry was different than his apostleship. His personal ministry was to comfort fellow cancer patients.
It is hard to justify not taking the time to do something that even an apostle can make time to do. We each have a personal ministry to perform. We must seek to be the answers to someone else's prayers. One last story from Sister Parkin's talk. This one appears to have been taken from a BYU-I devotional from a few years ago.
The prayers of one missionary’s parents were answered by the personal ministry of another. A missionary arrived in a foreign mission and was struggling with discouragement. He said he couldn’t take it and wanted to come home. His parents and others tried to encourage him but to no avail. At a reception during a training session, this distraught father mentioned his son’s struggle to a priesthood leader.The following week an envelope arrived at the parents’ home. Inside was a copy of a letter that had been sent to their son. The letter had been typed on a typewriter and very tenderly addressed to the discouraged elder. It was several pages long, full of encouragement and the writer’s own missionary experiences about faith and sticking to it. The letter was warm, loving, thoughtful, personal, and signed, “Sincerely, your brother, President Gordon B. Hinckley.” Shortly after this, the elder wrote his parents to say he was staying. He became a mighty power for good among the people of his mission.