A sacred trust

The Church News is featuring "Relief Society Moments" in commemoration of the organization's 150th anniversary, March 17, 1992, to highlight acts of service through Relief Society.

When I was called as ward Relief Society president, I joined the ranks of Relief Society leaders throughout the world who are busy seeing to the needs of others. But somehow, I, too, became a recipient of this caring organization.At the time of my call, my family was well and my husband was moving forward with his business. Five months into the call, my mother, who was living with us, had a stroke. It left her with little physical disability, but mentally things went wrong. At no time could she be left alone. It was then that I saw how a presidency could become one, and how a loving and caring stake Relief Society presidency could nurture and support.

The ward Relief Society secretary had nursing skills and willingly came to help bathe my mother. The stake Relief Society presidency came to my home for a leadership training session so I could tend to my mother's needs.

During the months that followed, my husband's business declined and we soon found ourselves without an income. For eight months we lived on food storage. Not many knew of our predicament - only my counselors and the bishopric. My counselors left food on the bonnet [hoodT of our car one particularly dark time. Another time they left material for me to make clothes for my children.

Still the Lord did not feel to release me. Our family eventually had to travel most places on bicycles. But there were many times when sisters' needs were pressing, and I would have to use the car. The fuel gauge would show empty. Prayerfully I would start the car and repeat in my mind the scripture, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded . . . ." (1 Ne. 3:7.)

Somehow it seemed that only after the test of faith, did things begin to improve. Only when our family situation returned to a relatively normal state was I released.

Whenever I sing, "Because I Have Been Given Much," my thoughts wander down that pathway to the time when the Lord gave me the sacred trust of the welfare of his daughters and to the time when I learned to give and receive. - Annette Uyterbogaardt, Benoni Ward, Benoni South Africa Stake.

(Another in a series of "Relief Society Moments." Illustration by Deseret News artist Reed McGregor.)

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