Do Your Best and God Will Do the Rest

“Do Your Best and God Will Do the Rest”
When Helen Vlok's husband died in 1977, he left her with five children and a customs clearing and forwarding business.  Dick had started the business with Helen’s encouragement and help, the inheritance from her mother, and her know-how of bookkeeping. Helen recalls how she was a mother by day and a bookkeeper by night, often working into the early hours of the morning once the children had gone to bed.   

After Dick’s death, Helen had to run the business for the survival of the family. She was grateful that she had kept the company’s books over the years, as this gave her a working knowledge of the business.  Her brother had opened a Durban office, and her sister also joined the business. Together they built a solid company that has been running for over 40 years. 

Helen joined the LDS Church in 1978, shortly after the death of her husband. Missionaries knocked on her door, and Helen received the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ with open arms and an open heart. She was attracted to the clean way of life the missionaries lived and that the LDS church taught. She and the oldest three children were baptised within a month of meeting the Mormon missionaries. A few years after joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Helen remarried.

Helen saw her business and all its resources as a blessing from God and was very quick to help others wherever possible. She offered employment to members of the LDS Church who were out of work and gave members lifts to church activities. She organised ward luncheons after church on fast Sundays and made sure that everyone had enough to eat. She felt that this was a time for those who had more to share with their fellow saints who had less. She couldn’t turn away the hungry and the homeless who came to her door, and she gave them the food they needed.

One sister, who was in her ward, fondly remembers when she was offered a ride by Helen’s daughter from Cape Town to the Johannesburg temple for her and her children. She mentioned to Helen that she wasn’t sure if she could go, as she didn't have much money to pay for petrol. Helen immediately reassured her that the petrol expense had been taken care of, so there would be no cost to her. And so the mother and her children had a free trip to the temple and counted it as a wonderful blessing made possible by Helen. Helen always maintained that through helping others, God had always blessed her life and the lives of her family.
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“Do your best and God will do the rest” was an adage Helen lived by and taught. She served faithfully in all the auxiliaries of the Church. As ward Relief Society president, she was able to show the love and concern she naturally had for people. She was very surprised when she was called to be the stake Primary president, but she magnified that calling with the same enthusiasm and commitment she had for all the challenges she faced in her life. 

Helen had a quiet but strong faith that sustained her through all the troubles and triumphs of her life.  She recalled how shy she had been, and reflecting back on her life, these incidents highlighted her growth as an individual, raising a large family as a single mother for many years, participating in Church callings, and running a successful business.