The Woodworker's Gift

Photo: Milada Vigerova

Photo: Milada Vigerova

He carefully selects the wood.

No ordinary wood. This one has to be special. Not just wood from any tree.

Olive wood.

From a grove of trees in a land far away. A Holy Land.

He will take this piece of wood and turn it. Drill and cut and sand it until it is changed. A process which is necessary to transform this raw piece of material into something better.

This woodworker is a leader of young men.

He knows them. And loves them.

They, too, have some rough edges. Finding their way through years of high school. Fighting the pressures that teenagers face. But reaching deep down to their conviction. Boys becoming men.

Young men who are strong and willing.

Now polished in a white shirt and tie. Sacrificing two years. Ready to serve.


What can this woodworker give to support their journey?

A gift from the heart.

Recognizing their service. Inspired by their commitment.

He polishes his gift. Careful attention to every detail.

The pen takes on a beautiful luster. The olive wood now reflecting light. Symbolizing so much more. The Garden. The Atonement.

It is complete.


He holds it in his own hands and ponders.

Ponders for a moment the life of another who grew up with His hands in wood.

Then died with His hands in wood.

And so this woodworker will give a gift to honor these brave young men.

Knowing their missions will be hard. Raw emotions will surface. Humility a certainty.

Knowing they will be transformed into something better. Teaching others of the Atonement and clinging to it themselves.

Hoping they will clip this pen made of olive wood on the inside pocket. Behind a name tag. Next to their heart.

Hoping they will remember who they represent.

As they testify to the world.

Of Him.

The one who knelt in a grove of olive trees.

Photo: Pacific Austin

Photo: Pacific Austin