Through the windows the Lord opens, people are offered opportunities to bless the lives of others, said President Thomas S. Monson Sunday morning.
"Windows are wonderful," said President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, speaking both literally and metaphorically. "They serve as a frame on which we might focus our attention. They provide a glimpse of God's creations."President Monson offered several examples of these windows, providing insights into human experiences and gospel truths:
- Windows to the heart. Through windows, he said, unforgettable lessons are taught. One such lesson was learned from President Hugh B. Brown, who President Monson witnessed one day lovingly wave a white handkerchief to his wife, Zina, seated in her wheelchair inside their home by the window. President Brown explained that the custom was a symbol that all would be well, until the two were together again.
"That day I witnessed a window to the heart," he said.
- Sealed windows. Some windows, explained President Monson, are sealed shut by sorrow, pain, and neglect: "The forgotten birthday, the unremembered visit, the overlooked promise all can sow seeds of sorrow and bring to the human heart that unwelcome visitor, despair."
Sharing a letter received by a national columnist, President Monson related the touching account of a 91-year-old man, whose birthday had passed unnoticed by his daughters who lived near him.
- Windows of faith. That story prompted President Monson to reflect on a similar experience, one with a happier ending.
"Each time I would visit an older widow whom I had known for many years and whose bishop I had been," related the second counselor, "my heart grieved at her utter loneliness. A favorite son of hers lived many miles away, and for years he had not visited Mother. Mattie spent long hours in a lonely vigil at her front window."
The years passed, and when Dick finally journeyed to Salt Lake to visit his mother, President Monson received a joyful telephone call from Mattie: "Tom, I knew Dick would come. I told you he would. I saw him through the window."
"We had witnessed a glimpse of God's healing power through the window of a mother's faith in her son," said President Monson.
- Windows of example. Relating several biblical accounts, President Monson taught that although many of the downtrodden and poor are forgotten by men, "they are remembered by God and are ofttimes seen through the window of personal example."
Illustrative of this was the poverty-stricken widow in Luke's account, who cast two mites into the treasury and was commended by the Lord for offering all she had. (Luke 21:2-4.)
- Windows of true compassion. When Christ raised to life the dead son of the widow of Nain, said President Monson, "the Lord opened to His disciples and to many people who followed Him a window through which they might view true compassion."
- Windows to priesthood power, faith and healing. The Lord's disciples were made partakers of His power when they ministered to others in righteousness, said President Monson. Recounting the story in Acts of the disciple Tabitha, whom Peter raised from the dead, President Monson asked, "Would it not be ever so sad if such a window to priesthood power, to faith, to healing, were to be restricted to Joppa alone?" He noted that such powers are applicable today.
- Windows of love. "When we catch the vision regarding the worth of human souls," President Monson continued, "when we realize the truth of the adage, `God's sweetest blessings always flow through hands that serve Him here below,' then we have quickened within our souls the desire to do good, the willingness to serve and the yearning to lift to a higher plane the children of God."
Such was the experience of William Norris, he said, who built a plant in a destitute neighborhood, providing many with work and educational opportunities.
"Through the window provided by Mr. Norris - even love in action - I saw demonstrated the philosophical and practical truth: The bottom line of living is giving," President Monson declared.
The Church leader spoke of the picture of Christ that hangs in his office, a constant reminder of Him whom he serves.
"When confronted with a vexing problem or difficult decision," he said, "I always gaze at that picture of the Master and silently I ask myself the question: `What would He have me do?' No longer does doubt linger, nor does indecision prevail. The way to go is clear, and the pathway before me beckons."
- Windows to the soul. President Monson related a final experience, in which he visited a man in the hospital, upon request by the man's concerned mother. After blessing and visiting with him, President Monson felt that "once more a gentle but unseen hand had opened a window to the soul, that precious lives might receive blessings heaven sent.
"He beckons to each of us," he concluded, "and extends the warm invitation not only to gaze at the beauty seen through the windows He opens, but also to pass through them to the priceless opportunities He provides to bless the lives of others."