This year of Covid has taken a toll on many because of isolation and lack of socialization, due to the many restrictions that have been put in place. I see this affecting all social groups. I think it is especially hard on our children. My own daughter has felt isolated and friendless at times, so she was thrilled when two friends (who are sisters) invited her over to make a cake. This wasn’t just a cake baking afternoon. For Christmas, the sisters had received the gift of cake baking materials from a popular blogger. As part of their gift they could participate in an online baking course. The girls would watch the instructional videos, and follow along, step by step, until they created a confectionery masterpiece that was Instagram worthy!
These cakes were so beautiful to me, because they represented inclusion, reaching out, and love. The cake day was a gift to my daughter that made her feel loved. For a moment, she was a teenager enjoying friendship and fun. I am grateful for cake.
Cristina Franco grew up in Argentina. She related the gift of cake she received from her Primary teacher, Sister Victoria Antonietti. “Each Tuesday afternoon, when we gathered for Primary, she brought us a chocolate cake. Everyone loved the cake—well, everyone except me. I hated chocolate cake! And even though she would try to share the cake with me, I always turned down her offer.
“One day after she had shared the chocolate cake with the rest of the children, I asked her, “Why don’t you bring a different flavor—like orange or vanilla?”
“After laughing a little, she asked me, “Why don’t you try a little piece? This cake is made with a special ingredient, and I promise that if you try it, you will like it!”
“I looked around, and to my surprise, everyone seemed to be enjoying the cake. I agreed to give it a try. Can you guess what happened? I liked it! That was the very first time I had enjoyed a chocolate cake.
“It wasn’t until many years later that I found out what the secret ingredient was in Sister Antonietti’s chocolate cake. My children and I visited my mother each week. On one of these visits, Mom and I were enjoying a slice of chocolate cake, and I related to her how I came to like the cake for the very first time. Then she enlightened me with the rest of the story.
“You see, Cris,” my mom said, “Victoria and her family didn’t have a lot of resources, and each week she had to choose between paying for the bus to take her and her four children to Primary or buying the ingredients to make the chocolate cake for her Primary class. She always chose the chocolate cake over the bus, and she and her children walked more than two miles, each way, regardless of the weather.”
“That day I had a better appreciation for her chocolate cake. More important, I learned that the secret ingredient in Victoria’s cake was the love she had for those she served and her unselfish sacrifice in our behalf.” 1
During the Last Supper, the Savior gave instruction to His disciples, saying:
There are so many ways we can be obedient to the commandment to love one another. How have you received love during this pandemic? How have you given love? I invite you to think of small and simple ways that you can show love to others. Who knows? Maybe people will be enjoying a lot more cake!