Behind roar of races, she serves quietly as 'inspiration to all'

On race days, the roar of powerful engines faintly reaches the home of Rosalind and Addis Jones, members of the Speedway Ward, Indianapolis Indiana North Stake.

Despite the nearness of the famous speedway, racing isn't the Jones family's way of life.Rather, keeping up with the Joneses here means quieting down.

Brother Jones' tastes for recreation lean more toward fishing than racing. A convert of three years, he serves as an assistant to the high priest's group leader.

Sister Jones, a convert of 22 years, is ward Relief Society president. For her leisure time, she prefers a day of service to others.

"I love all people," she said. "When I was called, I was overwhelmed that the Lord would give me responsibility for so many sisters."

She is described by J. Gary Bischoff, recently released as bishop, as "an inspiration to all the ward." He said she "organizes her life around the basics - truth, love and following the guidance of the Spirit. She manages to get everything done, but takes little credit."

She explained how she manages to get everything done. "I know service is important, and so I delegate," she explained. "I am old enough to know that I can't do it alone, and the sisters are willing so I work them hard. They know I love them, and they love each other. That is how we get things done." Her husband also helps with some of her Relief Society tasks.

Among the projects recently completed by the Speedway Ward Relief Society was providing draperies at the Central State Hospital to improve the living conditions for mental patients.

"Our sisters, Diana Glover and Kathy Hodson, picked up 80 bolts of light green material and brought it to our cultural hall, which we turned into a sewing room," she said.

"Sewing machines were brought in and we sewed and cut and made beautiful draperies. The sisters came in three days in one week to complete the project. It was hard work, but a labor of love, and the patrons at the hospital were so pleased. They had no drapery, and the additions made the rooms look so nice.

"Relief Society is my love. I like the lessons, and I like working together and sharing ideas. The fellowship is wonderful. Visiting teachers have a lot of responsibility. If they see someone in need, they tell me and we all help. This gives the spirit of love, which is more than just teaching."

She said she felt this same spirit of love the first time she attended a Church meeting more than 23 years ago. She explained that she had been a Protestant for 15 years and was actively trying to live the teachings of the Bible.

"Our minister had said that God does not reveal Himself through prophets anymore, but only through the scriptures. The Spirit spoke to me so loudly, `That's not true.' I didn't know what to think, but I didn't mention it to anyone."

Sister Jones was introduced to the Church while working the night shift at a hospital. A group of workers "were talking about religion, and of course, everyone thought their church was true. They had different reasons and believed different doctrine."

"They couldn't all be right, but I didn't think it mattered which church you belonged to as long as you believed in God and Christ."

She said one nurse spoke up and said " `The Mormon Church is true because it has a prophet at the head to guide it.' I was struck, but I questioned her about that and her reply was that she could show me it was true.

"She brought me a book to read - the Book of Mormon. I was going to prove her wrong, so I had to read it. As I read, I could see in my mind, like a motion picture, the events of the story. I had read the Bible and now I was feeling the same Spirit. When I read Moroni's exhortation to ask God the Eternal Father if the book was true, I decided to do just that."

She explained that she received a strong spiritual impression that both the Book of Mormon and the Bible were true.

She was later given a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants to further acquaint her with the gospel. She recognized the importance of modern revelation and thrived on the new-found truths.

"I felt impressed to attend a Latter-day Saint service, not knowing how I would be received as a black woman in a Church that was, for all I knew at the time, all white. I went because I knew it was true.

"Everyone was warm and friendly and loving. A missionary asked me if I was an investigator, and I said `no,' not knowing what it was."

But sister missionaries came to her home anyway. After she received the lessons, her husband was hesitant to agree to her baptism "because he couldn't understand the changes in my life. I was torn inside, knowing where Christ's Church was, but not being able to join it.

"I decided I would not attend my previous church anymore. I would fast and pray and contribute to the Latter-day Saint Church, even if I was never baptized."

About a year later, on a fast Sunday, her husband indicated his approval for her baptism. It was a happy day for her. As time went by, he began accompanying her to Church, reading scriptures, singing in the choir, and giving her support in her callings. They attended the Hill Cumorah Pageant, visited Salt Lake City, and went to Nauvoo and other Church historical sites.

Three years ago, her husband asked to be baptized.

They were later sealed in the Washington Temple. "We now enjoy going to the Chicago Temple every month," she said.

"I'll always be grateful to that nurse who gave me a Book of Mormon," Sister Jones related. "She started me on a path to eternal life. I know if we are faithful and endure to the end, we will have a place in His kingdom."

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