John Rowe Moyle
First the story, then the question.
One of the classic inspirational stories in church history is the story of John Moyle. A couple years back, President Uchtdorf retold this story in his talk “Lift Where You Stand” as quoted below.
“This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Rowe Moyle. John was a convert to the Church who left his home in England and traveled to the Salt Lake Valley as part of a handcart company. He built a home for his family in a small town a valley away from Salt Lake City. John was an accomplished stonecutter and, because of this skill, was asked to work on the Salt Lake Temple.
Every Monday John left home at two o’clock in the morning and walked six hours in order to be at his post on time. On Friday he would leave his work at five o’clock in the evening and walk almost until midnight before arriving home. He did this year after year.
One day, while he was doing his chores at home, a cow kicked him in the leg, causing a compound fracture. With limited medical resources, the only option was to amputate the broken leg. So John’s family and friends strapped him onto a door and, with a bucksaw, cut off his leg a few inches from the knee.
In spite of the crude surgery, the leg started to heal. Once John could sit up in bed, he began carving a wooden leg with an ingenious joint that served as an ankle to an artificial foot. Walking on this device was extremely painful, but John did not give up, building up his endurance until he could make the 22-mile (35-km) journey to the Salt Lake Temple each week, where he continued his work.
His hands carved the words “Holiness to the Lord” that stand today as a golden marker to all who visit the Salt Lake Temple."
It is a remarkable story of a dedicated man, with a consecrated heart, that bears repeating.
Here’s the question:
One Sunday we were listening to this story, and my insightful EC leaned over and whispered to me:
“I think this story is really sad. You mean to tell me there wasn’t one person in the whole Salt Lake Valley that could lend this poor man a horse or a mule? Didn’t he have a home teacher, or someone in his quorum that could help? Where was his Bishop? It seems like a missed opportunity for service.”
-- You need to understand that my EC is wise like that - always looking for ways to help. I need to remember that if I fail to care for those around me, someone’s suffering might become their legacy, and it probably won’t get talked about in General Conference.