Clean Oven Story

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Janette Hales Beckham

A faithful member shared her testimony of how the power of goodness influenced her life.  She writes:

"Until I was about eight years old, I was oblivious to the fact that my mother had serious health problems--later diagnosed as multiple sclerosis. 

When I was a first-year Beehive, I awoke one May morning to find that my mother was paralyzed from the neck down.  She was already blind."

Confined to her bed, this courageous woman became the hub of the household.  Her daughter wrote:

"One day it fell upon me to clean the oven, a chore I approached with self-pity and much complaining.  I went into her bedroom to whine a little and realized that Mom was crying. 

She said,  'Do you know how much I would give to be able to get up and scrub that oven?'  I gained a different perspective on the nature of work.  To this day, I think of that experience every time the oven needs cleaning."

She continues:  "An unusual blessing came to me in having my mother available.  She listened patiently to my early-adolescent concerns and questions.  She made me feel like the most important and interesting person in the world.  She was always home--attentive, interested, and always available."

Her mother died the spring of her senior year.  She relates: "One of the hardest moments in my young life was the day I returned home from school to an empty house and walked down that long hallway to her bedroom. 

My built-in counselor and confidante was no longer there, but she had given me those eternal, intangible gifts of love, wisdom, and acceptance.  I will be forever grateful for her goodness."

This strong woman, though physically helpless, had the power to love, to motivate, to inspire, to perpetuate righteousness, to do good.

My plea for each of us is to recognize that God has given each of us power--the power to act, to choose, to serve, to love, and to accomplish much good.  Perhaps it is time to take control of ourselves. 

Our prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, has said, "Be faithful... do good." 

He has told us "we have nothing to fear.  God is at the helm .... He will shower down blessings upon those who walk in obedience to His commandments." (May 1995 Ensign)

It is my prayer that we will seek the power of righteousness in our lives by following the counsel of the living prophet, and by living the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ, in His name, amen.

Excerpt from: Oct. 1995 Gen. Conf. - Janette Hales Beckham - "The Power of Goodness"