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Friday, May 18, 2012


So you may or may not have wondered about the title of this blog. It comes from a story that was shared by President Monson in his talk, "Charity Never Faileth", he gave during the Relief Society General Conference in October 2010. I'm going to copy the story below...

"A classic account of judging by appearance was printed in a national magazine many years ago. It is a true account—one which you may have heard but which bears repeating.

A woman by the name of Mary Bartels had a home directly across the street from the entrance to a hospital clinic. Her family lived on the main floor and rented the upstairs rooms to outpatients at the clinic.

One evening a truly awful-looking old man came to the door asking if there was room for him to stay the night. He was stooped and shriveled, and his face was lopsided from swelling—red and raw. He said he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success. “I guess it’s my face,” he said. “I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says it could possibly improve after more treatments.” He indicated he’d be happy to sleep in the rocking chair on the porch. As she talked with him, Mary realized this little old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. Although her rooms were filled, she told him to wait in the chair and she’d find him a place to sleep.

At bedtime Mary’s husband set up a camp cot for the man. When she checked in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and he was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, he asked if he could return the next time he had a treatment. “I won’t put you out a bit,” he promised. “I can sleep fine in a chair.” Mary assured him he was welcome to come again.

In the several years he went for treatments and stayed in Mary’s home, the old man, who was a fisherman by trade, always had gifts of seafood or vegetables from his garden. Other times he sent packages in the mail.

When Mary received these thoughtful gifts, she often thought of a comment her next-door neighbor made after the disfigured, stooped old man had left Mary’s home that first morning. “Did you keep that awful-looking man last night? I turned him away. You can lose customers by putting up such people.”

Mary knew that maybe they had lost customers once or twice, but she thought, “Oh, if only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.”

After the man passed away, Mary was visiting with a friend who had a greenhouse. As she looked at her friend’s flowers, she noticed a beautiful golden chrysanthemum but was puzzled that it was growing in a dented, old, rusty bucket. Her friend explained, “I ran short of pots, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, until I can put it out in the garden.”

Mary smiled as she imagined just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when He came to the soul of the little old man. “He won’t mind starting in this small, misshapen body.” But that was long ago, and in God’s garden how tall this lovely soul must stand!"

When I first heard the story in that Conference I immediately burst into tears. How I desperately hope that when Heavenly Father placed me into this broken body of mine, He was thinking, "Here's an especially beautiful one. She won't mind starting in this small, misshapen body." But more importantly how I hope that I will one day stand very tall in God's garden when all is said and done.

So this is why I named the blog, "Broken Flower Pot". Because I often feel very much like a broken and worn down flower pot. And when the world looks at me, I'm sure that's what most people see- a small "broken" body. But luckily I know that people don't buy flower pots to just have the pots. No they buy them to place beautiful flowers in them... and then they look at the flowers, not the pot. And hopefully it's the same with bodies and souls. I hope my soul is someday beautiful enough (and heaven knows I have a LOOOONG ways to go to get there!!!) that no one really notices the broken body.


  1. Oh Jess, of course you have me crying. I love you so much! I remember hearing that talk & thinking of you. You are so beyond beautiful inside AND OUT! But it is true, its what's on the inside that counts. You are such an amazing example to all that you come in contact with. You just proved to be too perfect for this world in the pre existence that you couldn't come down to this world in just any body. You came in yours & you have taken every challenge and not only overcome it, but did it with such grace. I truly am the luckiest person to be able to call you sister. Love you.

  2. What a great post. You are truly inspirational! My family and I send all our love.

  3. Jess- I love you. So excited to follow your bloggings. You have so much to offer!

  4. I am so glad you had a post explaining the name of your blog - it's perfect and I love it. Love you too.

  5. I have to say, that if you really were a flower, you would have one of the most beautiful blooms.

    You shine like the sun :)