Shining moments: A piano of his own

From his childhood, Shane Jeffs liked playing the piano. He never received any formal training. Yet, despite being legally blind and mentally handicapped, he taught himself to play by touch and by sound.

Over the years, after urging his parents each Sunday morning to take him to Church early so he could practice prior to meetings, he became proficient enough to play during Primary.

Now 34 years old and living with his parents, Shane longed for a piano of his own and last summer asked his parents to buy one.

When his parents declined because of the expense, Shane simply responded, "OK, we'll just have to let the Lord help us get one."

About that same time, in another part of the city, Ruth Palmer was asked by a member of the Church if she knew anyone who might like a piano.

Sister Palmer and her husband, Larry, who serve as missionaries in the outer stakes of the inner city mission, including Shane's Jordan 1st Ward, Salt Lake Jordan Stake, approached the bishop with the request. After some discussion, the bishop urged them to contact Shane's parents; his father now serves as a counselor in the bishopric and his mother as Primary president.

The parents accepted the offer, and with the help of seven men, the piano was wheeled into the home. Shane had been ushered from the home prior to the delivery with the hope of surprising him.

When he returned, Shane's father led him to the piano and gently guided his fingers to the keys. Shane erupted in excitement and immediately sat down and began to play the first song that came to mind, "I Am a Child of God."

The joy of watching his son was so great that Brother Jeffs left the room to control his emotions.

In an earlier discussion with the member who donated the piano, Sister Palmer learned that the piano had been owned by the woman's mother-in-law who lost her eyesight several years prior to her death and played by touch and sound.

"I know now that we were right in deciding to give the piano away," said the woman.

— Shaun Stahle

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