President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and concluding speaker at the General Women’s Conference, told the story of Ava and Great Aunt Rose.
“As I pondered what I should say to you today, my thoughts turned to the way the Savior taught,” said President Uchtdorf. “It is interesting how he was able to teach the most sublime truths using simple stories.”
Ava, an 11-year-old girl, was sent to her Great Aunt Rose’s for the summer, due to a time consuming surgery and recovery of Ava’s mother. Ava didn’t want to go, but arguing didn’t change a thing. The instant her father dropped her off, Ava knew she hated the house.
It was lonely, cluttered and her Great Aunt Rose and a fat cat were the only occupants. Though she had never met her Great Aunt Rose, Ava spent the beginning of her summer there, worried and praying about her mother.
When Ava heard that her mother’s surgery was successful, Ava knew she just had to “Endure to the end of summer.” She began noticing Aunt Rose’s happiness by her aunts large voice, large smile and large personality.
Ava noticed that her great aunt’s laugh filled the house. When her aunt went into town, people surrounded her despite the embarrassing bright hats her great aunt would wear.
As the summer progressed, Ava began walking with Great Aunt Rose. She “discovered that she was happier when she was with Aunt Rose.” When the time came for Ava to return home, she realized that she was going to miss her Aunt, but had one question to ask her.
“Aunt Rose, why are you so happy?” Ava asked. Aunt Rose then took Ava to a painting of a pioneer girl skipping down a bright path. Aunt Rose began sharing her story to Ava about how she chose to have faith in God during a depressing time in her life. As Aunt Rose’s faith grew, hope came and “faith and hope game me confidence that everything would one day make sense.”
“Now is a part of eternity,” Aunt Rose replied.
Aunt Rose explained that she decided to get busy with meaningful things, but Ava had previously noticed that not all busy people are happy people. Aunt Rose said those people had forgotten love, Christ-like love.
President Uchtdorf concluded the story by sharing a brief summery of Ava’s life. Then with an expression of his love for all those in participating in the conference and his hope for them to all find happiness, President Uchtdorf concluded his talk.
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