Shining moments: Touched by example

In 1951 two Mormon missionaries came to my door in Aalborg, Denmark. At that time, I knew very little about my own religion and nothing about the Mormon Church.

These young elders were very nice, and I accepted their invitation to attend their church services the following Sunday. There I met a sweet and loving sister, Oda Lassen, who befriended me.At that time I was a single parent struggling with three young children, and I had just been accepted to a six-month nurses training program. My youngest son, however, was not yet of school age and needed daycare, and I didn't know what to do with him during my training.

I mentioned my dilemma to my new friend, Sister Lassen. She immediately offered to take care of him. I didn't know her very well, but there seemed no alternative. Still, I was worried about my son's welfare. For several days, I spent my lunch hour lurking around the Lassen home listening through the door to hear if he was crying.

Sister Lassen and her husband were very busy. They owned a little milk store and were raising six children. Every morning she arose early to get milk from the farmers.

But despite her responsibilities, she cared for my son and was a wonderful baby sitter. At the end of my training I approached her to pay for her services.

"In our Church," she said, "we are all brothers and sisters and we try to treat each other as such. What I have done for you, you will be able to do for someone else."

Her goodness really touched my heart. I then asked her to teach me the gospel. Many times during the next year I rode my bicycle - past the stone houses that lined the streets - to her house where we sat in her kitchen with fresh flowers on the table and talked of the gospel.

She told me that if I would be faithful paying my tithing, I would never go hungry, which was comforting after the deprivations of World War II. Not long afterward, I joined the Church.

Forty-seven years later, we remain friends. Of all the gospel concepts she presented, the one that touched me the most was not what she taught, but what she did. - Gerda Christensen

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed