Tonight I want to pay a tribute to a dear sister of mine — a church sister. Her name is Millicent Barrett. But most people will think of her as Mother, Friend, a Hand that was always there, or a Smile never to be forgotten.
Her memory is tender to me. She was at my wedding, made my bouquet. She made sure all the decorations (and even her skirt) was lavender on my special day! Sis Barrett was my Young Woman President when I first joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I remember she gave me my first talk on modesty soon after I started visiting church.
She was gentle and kind — a woman who worked hard and did not complain. A woman with boundless energy who was always doing good.
When I returned to Jamaica with baby Niya in a time of stress and transition, she was one of two church sisters who came by to clean my house. You can’t imagine how happy I was for her service.
So when I heard the news I was devastated. On August 7, a day after she’d dropped me to the bus stop after church — I heard she’d been shot. About an hour later I got another call. She was dead.
I want to take this time to pay tribute to Sis Barrett. I want to take the time to talk about her legacy of love.
I also want to share how important it is for all of us to take the time to serve and never take one day for granted. I know we hear this message often with the death of a loved one.
But we are living in serious times. Let us all be prepared to live full lives despite the turmoils in the world around us. Let our hearts be full of love. Let’s add light to a world that often seems so dark with political, spiritual and ever-present conflict.
What acts of kindness will you give to those around you. I know I want to be more loving and giving because of the life Millicent Barrett lived.