Because I Have Been Given Much

2014-3-8  Highland West Stake RS-YW (83)This morning I was a guest speaker at a large gathering of Relief Society women in Highland, Utah who came together to spend their morning doing humanitarian work.  They asked me to come teach them about Days for Girls.  We’ve all been preparing for this event for several weeks, preparing fabric, tracing, training women to help, and gathering materials for the feminine hygiene kits.

When I arrived at 8:30 with my excellent helper, Melissa Clark (we are the Lewis & Clark of DfG), we were greeted by our new friends who had spent all day yesterday decorating the cultural hall and preparing work stations for today.  It was spectacular.  By 9:00 young women and mothers of all ages filled the large room.  After a welcome and prayer, a large group of beautiful young women came to the front and they sang to us.  They selected the perfect hymn, one of my favorites, and my eyes immediately filled with tears as they sang:

Because I have been given much, I too must give.
Because of thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live
I shall divide my gifts from thee
With every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered, fed by thy good care
I cannot see another’s lack and I not share
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
My roof’s save shelter overhead
That he too might be comforted.

Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear Lord,
I’ll share thy love again, according to thy Word
I shall give love to those in need,
I’ll show that love by word and deed.
Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.

(Because of Thy Great Bounty,” Grace Noll Crowell, 1936. Set to music by Phillip Landgrave as “Because I Have Been Given Much,” 1975.)

It was hard for me to speak following those words.  They expressed perfectly what was in my heart, and prepared us for the next few hours of work.  We traced, we cut, we sewed, we serged, we gathered things and we loved every minute of it.  There is such a sweet sprit that accompanies each who helps with this project.  It’s personal.  It’s lovely.  It’s comforting.  It gives us an opportunity to share what we have with others.  The room was filled with love and goodness.  Many women and girls came to me asking that I please express their love to those who will receive these kits when they are distributed.

I love being involved with this wonderful project.  I am meeting 100s of women who want to share and lift and comfort others.  It makes me happy and more determined than ever to help in any way I can.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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