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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Party Fund

"None of us will forget that gray morning in January when our beloved teacher announced to us that the mother of one of our classmates had passed away. We thought of our own mothers and how much they meant to us. We felt sorrow for Billy Davenport in his great loss. The lesson that Sunday was from the book of Acts, chapter 20, verse 35: 'Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.' At the conclusion of the presentation of a well-prepared lesson, Lucy Gertsch [our teacher] commented on the economic situation of Billy's family. These were depression times; money was scarce. With a twinkle in her eyes, she asked, "How would you like to follow this teaching of the Lord? How would you feel abot taking your party fund and, as a class, giving it to the Davenports as an expression of our love? The decision was unanimous. We counted very carefully each penny and placed a total sum in a large envelope. Ever shall I remember the tiny band walking those three city blocks, entering Billy's home, greeting him, his brother, sisters, and father. Noticeably absent was his mother. Always I shall treasure the tears which glistened in the yes of each one present as the white envelope containg our precious party fund passed from the delicate hand of our teacher to the needy hand of a grief-stricken father. We fairly skipped our way back to the chapel. Our hearts were lighter than they had ever been, our joy more full, our understanding more profound. This simple act of kindness welded us together as one. We learned through our own experience that indeed it is more blessed to give than to receive. The years have flown. The old chapel is gone, a victim of industrialization. The boys and girls who learned, who laughed, who grew under the direction of the inspired teacher of truth have never forgotten her love or her lessons."
Thomas S. Monson