By President Heber J. Grant’s family.
Congrats to 5th Day drawing winner, Jan Zundel, who won a baby blanket from Bethlehem.
President Grant was extremely generous his whole life and passed that trait on to his family. When leaders of the church suggested Primary children forget about Christmas presents and give the money to the temple, Pres. Grant’s children and grandchildren were more than happy to do it. See the whole story and other of his selfless stories below.
The following are memories from Pres. Grants daughter, Lucy:
“The Salt Lake Temple was nearing completion, and as a project for all Sunday School and Primary children, it was suggested that they forget their Christmas presents and give the money to the temple. Our family was enthusiastic about the idea, so we immediately told Father that we wanted the equivalent of our Christmas gifts in money to pay on the temple. Father gave each of us $100.00, which, of course, was far in excess of the usual Christmas check, and how proudly little Heber handed his to the bishop! Some years later, just a week or so before his passing, the bishop was in, and Heber felt under his pillow for his purse and handed the bishop $8.00 which he had saved to add to other gifts for the temple.”
“An artist came to sell him a picture,” his daughter related. “Father did not have space on his walls to hang a picture, but the artist needed the money, so Father told him he had always been very sorry he let him sell his last picture so cheap, so he gave him an extra $50.00 for the previous picture and suggested that the artist sell the picture he had to someone else.”
She continued: “It was a few days before Christmas, and I was preparing some little gifts for a needy family. Father walked in, and I showed him the things, telling him about the family, as I had gathered the story from the mother, and I mentioned that I must get my temple clothes ready as I was lending them to the woman to use the next morning. The next day when she came to return my clothing, she told me that when she went to the temple gate, Father was there waiting. He had never seen her before, only knowing her by my description. He stopped her and handed her an envelope as he wished the family a happy Christmas. The envelope contained $20.00.
“A typist who worked in his office for many years, was able to use only one hand. That very handicap was a factor in his employing her. She had married and was living in a poor and very inexpensive place. One evening when he was out driving with some of his daughters, they pointed out the place where she lived. At the following Christmas time he suggested to each of his children, that rather than write a check to them for his Christmas gift, he would ask them in turn, to write a check to him, and he was going to add to their checks the equivalent of what he had usually given them. This amount he was going to pay on this girl’s house. On the following Christmas day the President called at her home and gave them a turkey for their Christmas dinner and presented them with a check for several hundred dollars to pay on their house.”
Almost the last time the President was able to attend a meeting of the directors of one of the banks over which he presided, he asked the cashier if there were any widows owing obligations to the bank which they could not meet. At first the cashier thought not, but finally said, “There is one woman who is having great difficulty in paying the mortgage on her home, and it looks as if she might lose it.” Then the great-hearted and generous President asked how much the obligation was. He was informed that the amount was several hundred dollars. He directed the cashier to pay the mortgage, to cancel it, and send it to the widow and charge it to his account. He did not know her personally.
Step up and organize something with your families this Christmas in meeting someone’s needs and make it the best Christmas you could ever have!
Taken from: Bryant S. Hinckley, Heber J. Grant: Highlights in the Life of a Great Leader [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1951], 207.)