Service is a word that Sister Pearl Wilding understands perhaps better than most people. Throughout her life, Sister Wilding has served in a wide variety of callings in the Salt Lake Pioneer Stake. Now, at age 98, she still volunteers her time, 3 days a week, 8 hours a day, in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
When Sister Wilding’s husband passed away in 1995, Sister Wilding didn’t want to stay home and waste her time feeling sorry for herself. She went to her bishop and asked what service opportunities were available. She discovered that the Family History Library was looking for volunteers to help with a wide variety of positions.
When Sister Wilding began her volunteer service at age 79, she knew nothing about using computers. She had never turned on a computer, and she had no idea what to do with one even if someone turned it on for her. Now at age 98, she is quite comfortable using computers in the library’s Document Center. She also uses a variety of other machines as she helps patrons make copies of original records.
Sister Wilding admits that she’s not as fast or as nimble as she was in her younger years when she was 79 and just starting her volunteer service, but she gets to where she wants to go, and she has an amazing amount of independence for a woman of 98 years.
Three days a week, Sister Wilding’s grandson takes her to the Front Runner station in Lehi where she boards the Front Runner train for her commute into Salt Lake City. Someone meets her at the Salt Lake Station and helps her get to the Family History Library. She loves the opportunity she gets to serve, helping others carry out their family history and temple responsibilities.
Sister Pearl Wilding is understandably proud of her 7 children, 49 grandchildren, 114 great-grandchildren, and 16 great-great-grandchildren.
On May 20, more than 70 friends, employees, and fellow service missionaries gathered to celebrate Sister Wilding’s 98th birthday. With the energy and determination she showed at her celebration, everyone is expecting to gather again in 2 more years to celebrate a century of living and dedicated service.