Pennie Kirby has served as an organist in the Salt Lake Temple for almost 20 years. During that time, she and her husband, David, were asked to serve in a care center, where they have fulfilled multiple callings during the past four years.
On two occasions, members of wards that were supposed to provide the meeting in the care center forgot to show up. Sister Kirby was playing the prelude when the thought came to her, “I am prepared to give a talk,” so she did. Later on, she was with a daughter and commented about a poem written by Lord Alfred Tennyson about a pure heart. She told her daughter, “I wish that someday I could have a pure heart.” Her daughter immediately replied, “Mom, you do have a pure heart every time you go up to the care center.” The last two lines in the first verse of the Tennyson poem reads, “My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure.”
"I started thinking about all the times I could possibly have a pure heart, and all of those around me who also have pure hearts," Sister Kirby said. "I have been teaching the family home evening lessons at the care center as well. In the last four months we have discussed blessings, gratitude, adversity, temples, prophets, kindness, testimonies, charity, compassion, priorities and, most recently, the Holy Ghost. We have between seven and 17 people who come to family home evening. These are good people in the care center who have a great understanding of what we are discussing. We have particularly felt the Spirit as we have been discussing these topics.
"We may not have pure hearts in all areas, but a portion of our lives can be pure. In the hymn, 'More Holiness Give Me,' the third verse asks for purity and more strength to overcome. Likewise the second verse of the hymn 'Be Thou Humble' reminds us to have 'a pure and gentle love.' We also become more pure as we keep the commandments and love one another.
"Doctrine and Covenants 136:11 reminds us that we are blessed as we render service with a pure heart. My husband and I have both commented about how strong we feel when we are serving in the care center. We are grateful for this blessing."
— Pennie and David Kirby serve in the East Mill Creek 13th Branch, Salt Lake East Mill Creek North Stake