Sister Tanner surprised 140 devotional-goers with a post-speech snack

Written by: 
Alex Maldonado

At the end of her talk “Loaves and Lessons from Grandma," Susan Tanner, the wife of BYU-Hawaii President John Tanner, distributed 140 apple-sized loaves of bread to a select few audience members.

Tanner said she made every loaf herself between Saturday, Nov. 5, up until the Tuesday devotional. She expressed how she wanted the bread to symbolize the Savior, saying, "He is the bread of life; he performed miracles with bread like when I fed the 5000."

To reveal which audience members were going home with a loaf, she asked everyone to check under their seats to see if there was a little slip of paper with the BYUH logo on it. If they found a slip, they could redeem it for one loaf of bread at the door on the way out.

The bread tied in to Susan’s stories of how her grandmother would make bread for friends, neighbors, and anyone in need on a regular basis. Later on in the devotional, she told a story of a time she felt impressed to make a dozen little loaves of bread to take with her to work. “Each time I gave one away, the recipient opened his or her heart and shared some tender feelings,” Tanner shared. “These little experiences leavened my day with the spirit and carried me through that day. My burdens had been lifted. I felt happy.”

Susan then quoted President David O. McKay, “This school is going to produce leaders who are true to the ideals, who will leaven the whole lump, influencing not thousands, not tens of thousands, but millions.”

She added, "Like the leaven that makes bread bigger and bigger, light and delicious, we can be the leaven in the world that makes the Gospel grow and spread."

Tanner then revealed the giveaway with the council to "make [the bread] a miracle loaf. Share it. Share your goodness. Share your faith, your righteousness, your cheerfulness. Your selflessness can have a leavening influence on our university and community now, creating Zion among us."

Alohalani Housman from the Hawaiian studies department found a paper under her seat and took Tanner’s invitation to heart. She said her first thought was, "Who can I share this with?" She said she almost immediately thought of a sister in her ward going through a difficult time, and was determined to visit the sister and share her bread.

Jack Johansson, a freshman business major from Michigan, also scored a Tanner-made loaf. He shared, "I feel like the devotional is a nice break after class, and the bread today was icing on the cake. It also gave an object to [Sister Tanner’s] lesson."

Date Published: 
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Last Edited: 
Thursday, November 10, 2016