To be entered into today’s daily giveaway & FREE tour drawing- Read the story below; “Comment” & “Share” your answer on Facebook or our blog.
“Money for Christmas”
Accounts of President Heber J. Grant, 7th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
“Heber J. Grant was born in Salt Lake City on November 22, 1856, just nine years after the pioneers entered the valley. His father, Jedediah M. Grant, died at the young age of 40. This left Heber’s mother, Rachel Ivins Grant, now a young widow at 35, to make a living and raise her eight-day-old child. Rachel provided for herself and Heber by sewing and taking in boarders. Heber remembered that his mother bought a treadle sewing machine and that many times he sat on the floor until midnight, pumping the sewing machine by hand or with his feet to relieve his mother’s tired legs.
Heber made a little money on the side by shining boots for pennies. Later he would remember a Christmas when his mother wept because she had no money to buy him even a stick of candy. He determined he would work hard and earn money for them both. His life became an example of what can be accomplished through setting personal goals and making them happen with iron discipline. Heber resolved to help his mother out of poverty and was determined to become a bookkeeper. In those days before computers and even typewriters, all business records were handwritten on paper with pen and ink. So an important requirement for a bookkeeper was the ability to write well. Heber set out to become a good penman, but writing was hard for him. Several of his friends teased him that his handwriting wasn’t very good. One of them said it looked like hen tracks. Another said it looked like lightning had struck an ink bottle. This made Heber all the more determined and he began practicing all the time to improve his writing. His hard work paid off, and he actually won an award for his handwriting. Eventually he was able to help his mother financially and taught penmanship at the University of Deseret (now University of Utah) and did indeed become a bookkeeper at Wells Fargo Bank.
A favorite gift President Grant liked to give away was money. He never became a wealthy man in terms of the world, but he was always ready and willing to help others with whatever he had. He had an especially tender heart for the difficulties widows faced because he remembered so vividly his own mother’s struggles.
Once he employed a typist in his office who had the use of only one hand. She needed a job because she and her husband were quite poor. After Pres. Grant learned of her circumstances, he got an idea. With Christmas fast approaching, he proposed to his children that they play Santa Claus for a change. Instead of him writing them a check for Christmas, each of them would write him a check. He planned to take their checks, add what he usually would have given his children for Christmas, and then present a check for the entire amount to his typist.
On Christmas morning President Grant called at his employee’s home. He gave her family “a turkey for their Christmas dinner and presented them with a check for several hundred dollars to pay on their house.” It was a joyful day for the struggling family and for President Grant and his children as well.
He said, “Never forget that the true way to be happy is to do something to add to others’ happiness. Try to forget yourself, and joy here and hereafter will come to you.” He practiced what he preached.”
Figure out a meaningful way to ease another’s burdens today.
Willes, Laura F. Christmas with the Prophets, p. 69-73
“Light the World” is a 25 day Christ-like service celebration from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Visit Mormon.org for more information.