Service

View the entire lesson here: Service

How We Can Serve

There are countless ways to serve. In Doctrine and Covenants 81:5 we read, “Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” If we magnify our callings, and help those who are weak, tired, depressed, or anything such as that, we are doing service. Sometimes it is hard to feel like we can go outside of our everyday lives to serve elsewhere. At these times in life, I think it is important to find how we can serve where we are. For me, a lot of my days I feel stuck at home without a car and with 3 little children to take care of. It is my duty to find ways I can serve in and around my home, and sometimes this can be the most rewarding service because it is for my family. I think that the key to deciding how to serve, is to come to know others and what they want or need. Getting to know others is also a service. We read about this in Mosiah, chapter 5:

13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?

It is a cycle of service. We learn how to serve by getting to know others, but then we are blessed to know them through the service we give them. The possibilities are limitless.

Why the Savior Wants Us to Serve Others

One of my favorite scripture mastery scriptures is found in Mosiah 2:17.

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

It is wisdom to give service to others because we are in effect doing service to God. God’s work is to bring us all back to Him. Through our service, we do little parts of God’s work for Him by helping others to see the light of Christ.

Why does the Lord want us to serve others?

When we serve others, we forget ourselves. One of the biggest challenges that we need to work on in this life, is the natural feeling of selfishness. Our service focuses our attentions on others. Because of the service we give, we become more loving, forgiving, kind, and Christ-like. By doing service, we act as the tools of our Father in Heaven. When we are serving, we open the doors to bring others closer to Christ.

What can we do to be ready to meet the needs of others?

I think that a major part of this readiness, is being worthy of the spirit. When the spirit is there and we are listening, then we can feel the promptings to know how to serve others according to the will of God. Part of being ready, is not filling our lives too much with our own interests. We need to be flexible with our time and energy.

In Galatians 5:13 we read, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Part of being ready to serve, is recognizing that we are here to serve. I live in a country that is blessed with great liberty. There are many who chose to use this liberty for selfish purposes. Our job is to use our liberty to serve others with love.

We Receive Blessings through Service

In Colossians 3 we read the following:

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

When we serve, and do our service for the Lord and not for man, we will receive an inheritance from the Lord. The Lord wants to bless us. He has his arms full of blessings to be poured out upon us. In Doctrine and Covenants 76:5 we read, “For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.” He delights to honor us. Our service brings joy to the Lord.

What blessings do we receive through service to others?

There are great blessings that come through service to others. Sometimes it is just the good feelings that we get for it. Sometimes the blessings come in a greater testimony, or in the ability to love more. I think that most of the time, we don’t even know the blessings that we are given. I have grown so much from the joy that I have seen in others when I have done service for them, especially when they don’t know who did it.

Opportunities to Serve

It is surely easier to serve those that we love, and more difficult to serve those we do not get along with. But the opportunities are there for us to serve everyone we come in contact with. I had an experience last year that strengthened my testimony greatly, with a woman that I do not seem to get along with. I had the opportunity to serve and then I felt the need, as the spirit prompted me, to serve her, but I was fearful of her reaction. I followed the promptings and did what I was feeling I should do. She was so grateful and friendly with me, in a way that she has never been before. If I had not taken the time to serve her, I may not have ever known that sweet side of her. I wish I could say that we have been dear friends since, but we have not. However, this experience has given me the courage to serve her more and to serve others that I may not have thought about before. It has really been a blessing to me.

Sometimes the best service is the simplest. This can be a smile or hug. Sometimes someone just needs a listening ear. Sometimes, it is in a simple note for a family member or asking a neighbor how they are feeling. These acts of service can really add up to great strength in relationships and love and trust that otherwise would not have existed.

One of the reasons that being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is so wonderful, is because we are given opportunities to serve all the time. No one in our church is paid for the service they give in callings, which is very different from a lot of other churches. All that we do is voluntary and because we are not compensated, we are able to learn and grow from it the way the Lord wants us to.

How can we give enough time to our family, even with our many opportunities to give service in the Church and community?

Family should be the first place that we think to serve. Our families need the unity and strength that comes through our service. Then as a family, we can work together to serve others. We serve our children by teaching them the value of serving others as well. Finding ways to serve as a family, in the Church and community, will bless our families in so many ways.

Jesus Christ Is the Perfect Example of Service

What are some of your favorite scripture stories in which the Savior sets an example of service?

One of my favorite scriptures that the Savior set an example of service is when he visited the Nephites in the Americas. When the first day was coming to a close, He prepared to leave them. This is found in 3 Nephi, chapter 17.

5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.
7 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

The people were sad and did not want Him to go. He served the Nephites by staying with them and blessing them. I am sure that many of those there were hurt and afflicted because they had just experienced great earthquakes and darkness before he came to them. Then there would have been even more who were already suffering from afflictions and sickness. He healed and blessed them all. Then an even greater service was done at this time, when he called for the little children. He prayed for all the people and then he took these precious children and blessed them and prayed for them. In verse 21 we read, “And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.”

What can we learn from the Savior’s example of service?

The Savior served all men. He did not choose to avoid those who were sick, or those who had sinned grievously. He served the people when he was tired, at all times of day and night, and on every day of the week. He served us all through immense pain, suffering, to the point of death. His example teaches me that we should be willing to serve others at all times, in all places, and in all things. His example teaches me that I should not withhold service from others based on their situations or their righteousness. His example teaches me pure love and forgiveness. His is a pure example of selflessness in all situations. If I can live even a tenth of the life of service that He lived, I know that I will be greatly blessed for my service.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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