I can’t speak for everyone (or almost anyone, actually) but I think it is safe to say that most people really love when they find out that they’ve been an instrument in the hands of God in helping, healing, or blessing the life of someone else. It doesn’t happen often enough for me due to laziness and lack of noticing opportunities I’m sure, but when it does, I feel such a sense of gratitude that God would even consider using me for anything, much less to help someone He loves.
When Henry B. Eyring was in high school, his family moved from New Jersey to Salt Lake City, and he began attending a new high school. It was not an easy move or transition for him (I suppose it wouldn’t be for any teenager). He, after much practice, made the school basketball team, although he was not a starting player. Eventually, he graduated a little early. As I read this part of his story, I wondered how young Henry felt about himself on a daily basis. You know, he eventually found much success as an adult, but did he feel successful as a youth? Did he feel useful?
In President Henry B. Eyring’s biography, I found the following letter, written by one of his high school peers, thirty five years after high school:
Dear Dr. Eyring,
You won’t remember me, but that doesn’t matter. I remember you.
This letter is a long overdue thank you. In high school, I was a non-entity. You were a popular athlete. Yet you always said hello to me in the halls. I realize that you said hello to everybody, but to this person, it made a difference.
You were not bounded by conceit or a flattering group. Everyone seemed to matter to you. I have tried to raise my family to reflect these same ideals.
Thank you for the smiles when I really needed them. Thank you for remaining true and faithful to the principles of the gospel.” (letter from a classmate, October 14, 1987)
If you’re hoping–even praying–to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord, remember that “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6). Saying “hello” matters. Smiling matters. Remembering the name of a person you just met matters.
Who will you recognize, thank, smile at, help, assist, remember, or speak to today? In what small and simple way will you be an instrument in the hands of the Lord…today?