Charity and Clean Windows

The November Visiting Teaching message is to be selected from talks in our last General Conference. I loved President Monson’s talk during the General Relief Society broadcast, and created a fun handout to go with it. President Monson began by sharing the following anecdote:

A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while they were eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and watched her next-door neighbor hanging out her wash.

“That laundry’s not clean!” Lisa exclaimed. “Our neighbor doesn’t know how to get clothes clean!”

John looked on but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.

A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out her window and see a nice, clean wash hanging in her neighbor’s yard. She said to her husband, “Look, John—she’s finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it.”

John replied, “Well, dear, I have the answer for you. You’ll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!”

President Monson went on to talk about not judging one another – and the meaning of charity.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share a recipe for homemade window cleaner. It is tied to a bottle of vinegar, which is a main ingredient in this simple concoction, and a great food storage item. I printed the recipe on white copy paper; and on colored cardstock, the following quote:

Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.

You can download both here.

I cut the recipe out with some freehand scallops, and rubbed the edges on a dark yellow ink pad for a little depth. I glued that to the front of my folded card. I then punched some flower shapes out of newspaper, stacked four together, and attached them to the card with a black brad. I squished up the petals to give the flower some body.

I then punched another hole in the corner of the card and tied it to the vinegar with a pretty ribbon. You can view President Monson’s talk here.

Have a great month!

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41 Responses to Charity and Clean Windows

  1. nikib4kids says:

    Love it! You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your talent and wisdom with us!

  2. Rachele Funk says:

    This is so clever! Thank you so much for sharing! Love it!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn't it be more charitable to actually go and clean your sisters windows, rather than suggest she has dirty windows? Just askin'

  4. let's jet! says:

    Will you be my visiting teacher? L♥VE it!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is cute, but I would actually be offended f I got a gift like this. New neighbors should be offering service, not telling me to clean my windows.

  6. Anonymous says:

    …I meant that to say that Visiting Teachers should be offering service….or better yet just giving the service….not telling me to clean my windows.

  7. Chad and Amy says:

    It's an object lesson for those who aren't getting the point. Thanks for putting this together. What a fun idea!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow. What a cute object lesson idea. After reading these comments I am amazed we have sisters in the church who are so easily offended; it explains a lot. What irony. I guess some people have totally missed the lesson here. Thank you for the idea. I will definitely be using it.

  9. SalGal says:

    WOW Miss Anonymous….I hope I am NOT your VT or neighbor. Do you make such rash judgments on all of the gifts you receive? You could really benefit from reading President Monson's talk.

    Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.

    THANKS for sharing such a cute idea that can be used to share President Monson's important message.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am always running out of vinegar, and if someone was offended by this object lesson then they are upset with themselves. I love it and I'm soo doing it this month! I just found this blog and I'll keep coming back!

  11. raising4boys says:

    Wonderful idea! This was my favorite talk. thanks for sharing your idea.

  12. Karen says:

    I just found you site- & I love your Ideas. Thanks for this cute handout, I would love to recieve this– not only is it a darling idea, but I would be happy to have the recipe to make homemade cleaner. I think it's perfect.

  13. Jocelyn Christensen says:

    Great one…I guess I'll have to clean my windows now too! 🙂

  14. Becki and Jeff says:

    What a fabulous idea! I will definitely use this next month!! Thank you!!

  15. Shellie says:

    Thank you, thank you for this sweet idea. You have just helped me find the answer to a prayer. God bless.

  16. Connie says:

    You're awesome! I love your ideas!

  17. Betty says:

    gr8 post! Love it!

  18. Anonymous says:

    You are just awesome!!!! Thnak yo so much for making this for us, and willing to always shre your talents!!!

  19. Knudsen's says:

    I'm with everyone else! Great idea! So cute! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂


  20. Anonymous says:

    I just had to add that I too am so grateful for people like you who offer up their time and talents so that the rest of us can do a better job of fulfilling our calling at VT. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I too am very grateful to you for sharing your talents with all. I now look forward to getting something ready for those I VT. Thank You:)

  22. Kristin says:

    Thanks, everyone – I love knowing these ideas are inspiring to you!

  23. White family says:

    I was just called to the Relief Society presidency and am grateful for such cute and clever ideas that will help inspire us all to reach out and fulfill our callings. You are wonderful.

  24. lori says:

    I am so thankful for brilliant people such as yourself who share your talents with others. Thank you!

  25. Anonymous says:

    So cute. Thank you so much.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much!! – this too was a answer to prayers for me!! This is the talk my lesson is based on for Sunday. I will be making 60 on Saturday to use at our Visiting Teaching Conference. I'm in the process of buying all vinegar bottles in our entire town. I'm finding about 10 a store!! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible talent!!!

  27. Kristin says:

    How fun! Good luck finding all your vinegar!

  28. Janie says:

    Thank you for sharing your talents, time, and love with us. You are truly blessing the lives of sisters in West Texas.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Love this Idea!!

  30. lanakae says:

    Thank you for this idea! I so love it and will use it when I VT this friday. THANK YOU for sharing your talent!! You make VT more enjoyable to share.

  31. carolyne b says:

    I am teaching this lesson in Relief Society this coming Sunday. There are only approx 20-25 sisters in RS so this will make a great take home to always remember not to judge. Thanks so much.

  32. Clarissa says:

    I am going tomorrow yikes nothing like leaving it till the last day. Anyway tried to download your November handout and I couldn't get it please help I need it for Tuesday morning. Can you email it to me…

  33. Kristin says:

    It's on it's way, Clarissa. Good luck!

  34. Jayne says:

    Thanks for this cute idea. I simplified it and just bought glass cleaner. I just moved to a new town and was assigned two less active sisters. i wrote an letter and printed President Monson's talk for each of them. I delivered it a few days ago. I am hoping that it will be a curious gift and thet will want to read the talk to find out why I gave them glass cleaner.

  35. christa says:

    I was wondering who said the quote that you used? You didn't mention if it was from President Monson's talk or from another source? I really love the quote! Thanks for these great ideas…it's always fun to change it up.

  36. Kristin says:

    Christa – the charity quote is also from President Monson's conference talk

  37. Johnna says:

    Love, LOVE this!!! Great Ideas!

  38. Jamie says:

    I just love all of your ideas. They really get me excited about Visiting Teaching. Thank you so much for serving the Lord through your Sister’s. Jamie.

  39. Robyn says:

    I love this idea! I want to use it for a lesson in Relief Society. Did you find small bottles of Vinegar or are they regular size? Did you just go in stores and buy them, or did you order online and where? Thanks for your ideas!

    • Kristin says:

      These are regular-size bottles, and since I was only making 3, bought them at the store. Hope you have a great lesson!

  40. Pattyann says:

    I am using this today for my lesson on Charity in church! I love it. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I think my class will love it too, especially the missionaries! I bought ten and they were only 1.00 each. So not expensive at all. I looked everywhere for small ones, but no luck, so I just bought the regular size. I figure it is worth it.

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