He shares a story about a family that joined the church and the cost of making such a decision.
- In a small village on one of these islands, an older man and his wife accepted the invitation of the missionaries to sincerely ask the Lord if the lessons they were being taught were true. In this process, they also considered the consequences of the commitments that they would need to make if the answer that they received led to their accepting the restored gospel. They fasted and prayed to know the truthfulness of the Church and the veracity of the Book of Mormon. The answer to their prayers came in the form of a sweet but ringing affirmation: “Yes! It is true!”
- Having received this witness, they chose to be baptized. This was not a choice without personal cost. Their decision and baptism carried with them a high price. They lost employment, they sacrificed social standing, important friendships dissolved, and the support, love, and respect of family were withdrawn. They now walked to church each Sunday, exchanging awkward glances with friends and neighbors who were walking in the opposite direction.
- In these difficult circumstances, this good brother was asked how he felt about their decision to join the Church. His simple and unwavering reply was “It is true, isn’t it? Our choice was clear.”
He shares another story about a village chief that opened his village to missionaries after many years of not allowing them to preach.
- In Samoa, we labor with village councils to gain access for missionaries to preach the gospel. A few years ago, I had a conversation with a chief from a village where the missionaries had been prohibited for many, many years. My conversation occurred not too long after the paramount chief had opened the village to the Church, permitting our missionaries to teach those interested in learning about the gospel and its doctrines.
- After so many years, to have this miraculous turn of events, I was curious to learn about what had happened to cause the paramount chief to take this action. I asked about this, and the chief with whom I was conversing replied, “A man can live in the dark for a period, but there will come a time when he will long to come into the light.”
- The paramount chief, in opening the village, demonstrated the heart of the widow—a heart that softens when the warmth and light of the truth is revealed. This leader was willing to relinquish years of tradition, confront much opposition, and stand firm so that others might be blessed.
He concludes with sharing with us what it means to have the heart of the widow.
- The heart of the widow who gave her two mites is a heart that will give all by making sacrifices; by enduring hardship, persecution, and rejection; and by bearing burdens of many kinds. The heart of the widow is a heart that senses, feels, and knows the light of truth and will give anything to embrace that truth. It also helps others to see that same light and come to the same measure of eternal happiness and joy. Finally, the heart of the widow is defined by a willingness to give all for building up the kingdom of God on the earth.
- The heart of the widow is filled with thanksgiving that the Savior was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” so that we would not need to taste the “bitter cup.” In spite of our weaknesses and failings, and because of them, He continues to offer His hands, which were pierced for our sakes. He will lift us up if we are willing to come into the light of His gospel, embrace Him, and allow Him to fill our “want.”
Elder Haleck's discussion about what it means to have have the heart of a widow causes me to reflect what it means for me to give of all I have for the Savior. The Lord doesn't ask for everything we have, but He does ask us to give our lives to building up the kingdom of God. I want to spend my life helping others to come unto Christ and to make decisions that will bring them closer to returning to our Father in Heaven. The Lord allows me to help others, take care of my family, and help build His kingdom. I am fortunate to give what I can to the Lord because of the many blessings he has given to me.