Alan and Pauline Hogben were baptized in 1970 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Soon after their baptism, they began talking about going to London to be sealed in the temple, but they felt it was impossible to save enough money to make the expensive trip.
In April 1972, the Hogbens decided to get temple recommends, even though they would be unable to use them for a long time. They figured it would take them two and a half years to save enough money to get to London. The Hogbens were sealed five months later, in September. How could that possibly happen?
Brother Hogben said, “We were told that the only thing the Lord required of us was to make a commitment, and He would open the doors. So we set out with a very stringent budget that kept household expenses to a bare minimum.”
Then interesting things started to happen: “There would be a knock on the door, and someone would bring us a little cake. For months we found a parcel of food in the back seat of our car after Church.”
One evening after sacrament meeting, a member gave the Hogbens 200 rand, which was a lot of money in those days. When they asked him why, he said that a man had given his family a gallon of petrol once when they had run out. They had tried to pay him, but he had replied, “No just give someone else a gallon when they need it.” The member was just passing on his “gallon of petrol” to someone who needed it.
In September of 1972, just six months after receiving their temple recommends, the Hogbens were sealed in the London Temple. Nevertheless, the 200 rand just kept going and going. Brother Hogben states, “When we returned from the temple, we gave that 200 rand to another couple [to help them go], and they gave it to still another. At last count, that 200 rand had contributed to at least four more couples going to the temple. To this day, we don’t know how far the 200 rand went.”
It is clear that when faith is involved, seven loaves and a few little fishes can feed the multitude, and 200 rand can keep blessing lives far into the future.
Excerpted by Marnae Wilson from South Africa: Land of Good Hope, R. Val Johnson, Ensign, February 1993.https://www.lds.org/ensign/1993/02/south-africa-land-of-good=hope?lang=eng