Our primary asked the children to share gospel principles along with stories of their ancestors in their talks this year. Lucy said she wanted to do a story on the grandma who made the knit coat she wore. We went on familysearch.org and found some info Aunt Laurie wrote and photos she uploaded. This is what she and I came up with. It was very touching for me to listen to her share this. She was a wonderful women and she helped mold me when I was growing up.
President Uchtdorf told a story during the 2010 May conference. During the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned, because it had been a symbol of their faith and of God’s presence in their lives.
Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been broken so badly that they could not be fixed. The people added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words:
“You are my hands.”
When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation.
My Great Grandmother Betty Banks was like the Savior in using her hands to bless, heal, and love. She was a registered nurse and was able to heal others. She put a great deal of effort into her home and children. She was an avid supporter of little league, cub scouts, girls scouts, school sports, the PTA, and whatever else her children were involved in. She worked off and on as a nurse in various settings, but stayed home as much as possible with her kids.
She had many interests including: gardening, cooking, knitting, sewing, decorating, baking, and everything she did, she did so well. “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” was her motto. She created extraordinary things with her hands, like this knit coat she made for my mom. It is now an heirloom. I wore this coat and someday my daughter will wear this coat made be Great Grandmother Betty. She also had a tradition of giving her grandkids a Christmas ornament each year. My Grandma Banks now does this same tradition for me, and my mom said she will continue the tradition and give my kids ornaments too!
She had a special way of making each family member feel loved and cherished. As a child, my Great Aunt Laurie recalls her mother using sterling silver for everyday use and it wasn’t until she was older that she became aware that most people used sterling silver for special occasions. When she asked her mother why she used it every day, Betty’s reply was, “There’s no one more special to me than my family.”
Although Great Grandmother Betty was not a member of Jesus Christ’s church while on the earth, she was a light and inspiration to others. She felt a positive attitude was the key to making positive things happen. And she highly valued “a cheerful disposition.” It was difficult to hold any healthy family arguments in front of her because she would quickly change the subject to something more agreeable.
Just like Great Grandmother Betty, this is what the Savior would be doing if they were living among us today. It is what we should be doing as His disciples and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits grown stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more open to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. Let’s become the Savior’s hands so others will feel His love just like Great Grandmother Betty. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.