The Suit

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Lori Ries

It was just before Christmas, and I knew I had things others could use. Room by room I went through the house, finding items we could donate to Deseret Industries. When it was finally time to go through our bedroom, my husband and I headed for our closet. We looked through our clothing.

"I don't have anything this time," I told him. "Do you?"

David put a number of shirts in a pile and found some shoes he no longer wore.

"What about this suit?" he asked. I had helped him pick it out years ago for a job interview. It still looked brand new.

"Honey, what do you think? It doesn't fit anymore."

"But it's still like new," I said.

"I really feel this suit needs to go," David said. He took it from the closet.

As much as I liked the suit on him, he did have another, and after he tried this one on, I could see that it barely fit him now. I carefully laid it across the donation pile, but I didn't feel right. Something was nagging at me. The suit didn't belong there, and I knew it.

David went to his ties. He was ruthless in his weeding. He pulled out several and laid them with the suit, but that didn't feel right to me either.

The suit in the pile interrupted my sleep. I wondered what was wrong with me to worry so much about a suit that didn't fit and a bunch of old ties.

The following morning I looked at the pile of clothes. Again so strongly came the feeling that the suit didn't belong. I took it off the pile and laid it on the bed along with some ties. After putting everything else into bags, I again looked at the suit. "Whom is it for?" I didn't know.

I knelt beside the bed and prayed. I went to my desk and tried to think. My husband and I were the young adult leaders in the ward, so we knew who the next missionary was. It would be a while before he left. He also had a steady job, so getting a new suit wouldn't be a problem. I called my bishop but got the answering machine.

Then there was a knock at the door. Opening the door, I was startled.

"Hi, Sister Ries," the missionaries serving in our ward smiled.

A chill of sudden knowledge ran through me. "I don't believe this" was all I could say. "Please stay here. I'll be right back."

Excitedly, I raced up the stairs while the elders laughed at my strange greeting. Such joy filled me as I brought down the suit.

"It's a size 40 jacket," I said, "and the pants are 33–32." I looked at one elder, hoping.

The missionary's face lit up. "I'm a size 40 and a 33–30 in slacks." His face softened. "My parents and I had been praying that I'd find a suit to finish out my mission. I've got a little time left, and I've nearly worn this one clear through."

The faithful Elder accepted Heavenly Father's gift of the suit and ties gratefully, and after I closed my door, I again went to my bedroom to kneel and thank Heavenly Father for the love He has for His children. He always listens to prayers.

Lori Ries

January 2007 Ensign "Latter-Day Voices" section