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The Silent Tragedy

Not too long ago my husband and I watched a conference talk for Family Home Evening. The talk focused on how we are all in need in times of tragedy (death, illness, accidents etc.). It is customary in our small household to have long discussions about our FHE lessons. My husband mentioned one tragedy that had not been part of the talk: loneliness, and how it is the silent tragedy.

I have had the privilage to sit on the stand in sacrament meeting to play the organ, or behind the piano in Relief Society, for many years. Without fail I always steal glances of the pews or chairs to see how is out there, who is new, who is missing, and who is sitting by themselves. Yes, I notice who sits alone. I notice who sneaks in and takes the back set. I notice who gets passed by. My automatic response is to go and talk to them or invite them to come and sit with us. But with my commitment to a music instrument on Sundays it is hard to do, but there are still ways that I can help loneliness vanish.

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad,
and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Doing good is a pleasure,
a joy beyond measure,
a blessing of duty and love.
(LDS Hymnbook, Hymn 223)

President Monson gave a wonderful talk in 1992 about this very topic of loneliness. I spent some time reflecting on his talk and decided that I have no excuse. The three-hour chuch block is not the only time we can reach out to those who need us. Sister Whimsy has already provided some great advice in her recent post, 6 Ways to Belong in Relief Society. Ward activities, ward temple night, visiting teaching or just visiting (for no reason other than to say hello) are also great ways to reach out to the lonely.

People need other people. We all need to feel loved, supported, included and wanted. I have committed not to let ‘the silent tragedy’ take over my life (and it has in the past), nor will I let another moment pass me by that I can make a difference in the life of another.


2 Responses

  1. I totally agree with this post. I have fallen into this tragedy myself at times. Sometimes I think we can get so caught up in things we have to do or helping people we KNOW need help. I think it is interesting to think of the “view” from the stand. Thanks for your post. A great reminder to us all to reach out a little more.

  2. Wow. This is so powerful. I totally agree. What a unique view you’ve been able to have from behind the piano. I’ll take your same challenge too.


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