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Serving Others

Serving Others
The greatest legacy of service was left by the Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our example. He gave sight to the blind, health to the sick, and words of encouragement to the downtrodden and heartbroken soul. During His time here on earth, Jesus Christ dedicated Himself to serving His fellow man, even though at times this meant He couldn’t sleep or eat.1
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The best experiences I’ve had in my life have occurred through serving others. I found the Church in 1989 and one of the things that most impressed me and helped me in my conversion was seeing how the members were always interested and willing to help each other. Their capacity to serve and their interest in each other’s common welfare that I saw from the time I first joined strengthened my testimony and awakened in me a desire to want to be more involved in the Savior’s work.

Every day, we have multiple chances to serve. If we are in tune we will be Christ’s hands to bless the lives of others. During this age of many distractions when we think we never have enough time to manage all our responsibilities, it’s a good idea to pause and look around us. We can start in our own homes with our family, our neighbors, etc.

There is always something we can do, many times through simple acts. Keep a positive, friendly, and polite attitude, and treat others kindly. In this way, you can be a great help to someone who is going through a very difficult moment. Good feelings can be conveyed and help us to keep the Holy Ghost with us, and those we interact with can feel it.

The Savior said: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”2

“It is only when we love God and Christ with all of our hearts, souls, and minds that we are able to share this love with our neighbors through acts of kindness and service—the way that the Savior would love and serve all of us if He were among us today.”3

President Spencer W. Kimball said: “It is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and from small but deliberate deeds!”4

Missionary service is an example of serving in the Lord’s way with infinite opportunities to help others, not just preaching with words, but also with actions. These actions reflect our love for our fellow men and for the Savior.

Elder Derek Stephens who was a missionary in the Honduras Comayaguela Mission knows about this way of serving. I have a picture of a pair of old shoes that he still keeps. This is what he told me:

“My older sister makes fun of me because the shoes are so ugly. They are destroyed. I had them for 21 months of my mission, but they are very important to me. They represent hard and diligent work, as well as pain and sacrifice. But most importantly, they represent the best memories I had serving as a full time missionary. When I look at them, it brings memories to my mind of my next to last area, La Esperanza. It’s a beautiful city located among the mountains in the province of Intibucá. It’s known for its cold weather and dense fog in winter. I remember walking down its streets with my old shoes that because of use and the constant rains and mud had holes in the soles. One of them was open on both sides.
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Some nights after a long hard day of work, my feet would ache and even bleed. My parents sent money for me to buy new shoes. I went to the bank to get the money out so I could buy a new pair the next day. That same night the sisters told me about an investigator family that had been progressing a lot. They were a slightly older couple who had great faith and desires to get baptized. There was just one problem for them to get baptized, and that was that they weren’t married. In order to get married they had to travel by bus to another town fourteen hours away. They were very poor, but with great sacrifice they had saved the money needed to pay for the legal documents required to get married, but they still didn’t have the money for the cost of the trip. They were very sad knowing that their desires to get married and baptized could not happen. When I spoke with this family I could feel of their sincerity in wanting to change their life. It made the pain in my feet seem very small compared to the joy in helping them enter the waters of baptism and become members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Without any hesitation, I bought their bus tickets and something else they needed.
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I was without new shoes for a while after that, but I had a family that was happy to have been able to enter the waters of baptism and make covenants with the Lord. Now I’m home and have finished my mission, but I still keep my old shoes. Whenever I look at them I remember that family, and I realize that that experience was a chance to understand, in a very small way, the Atonement of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I think about Him who gave more than His feet so He could bless all of mankind.”

As we serve with sincere love and selflessness, we ourselves and our families are the ones who are most blessed. We should serve no matter what the situation or the condition of the people, and only know and remember that they are sons and daughters of God.

When charity, the pure love of Christ, encircles us, we become more like Him. We think, feel, and act more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ think, feel, and act. Then our motivation and sincere desire is similar to those of the Savior. He shared this desire with His Apostles just prior to his crucifixion when He said: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”5

  1. John 4:31-32
  2. John 13:35/Matthew 25:35-45
  3. “Finding Joy Through Loving Service.” Elder M. Russell Ballard, Ensign May, 2011.
  4. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 2006, page 92
  5. John 13:34-35