Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lesson: Service

Zora Mae, in her 90's and legally blind, makes quilts for newborns
Gospel Principles, Lesson 28, Service
Taught by Margie Clark

How we can serve
Think about ways people have served you and your family members.

Jesus said, “I am among you as he that serveth” (Luke 22:27). As true followers of Jesus, we also must serve others.

Service is helping others who need assistance. Christlike service grows out of genuine love for the Savior and of love and concern for those whom He gives us opportunities and direction to help. Love is more than a feeling; when we love others, we want to help them.

All of us must be willing to serve, no matter what our income, age, or social position. Some people believe that only the poor and lowly should serve. Other people think service should be given only by the rich. But Jesus taught otherwise. When the mother of two of His disciples asked Him to honor her sons in His kingdom, Jesus replied, “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26–27).

There are many ways to serve.

We can do small and large acts of service. We should never fail to help someone because we are unable to do great things.

- Elizabeth remembered a time as a military family when a bag of hand-me-down clothes was like Christmas.
- Owenna recalled a time after a surgery when a friend showed up at her door to scrub the bathrooms.
- Our fast offerings go to help our fellow ward members.
- A smile, extra patience with a child doing homework, a listening ear can all be acts of service.
- A home teacher or visiting teacher can touch hearts in small ways.
- That sort of kindness creates a pattern that keeps the service going.
- President Coe in our ward conference encouraged us to act quickly on a thought, to minister.
- Think of a time when even the smallest service lifted your heart.

Sometimes, however, we must sacrifice greatly to serve someone. The Savior gave up His life in serving us. Boyd K. Packer tells this story:
Over the years I have watched one dear sister give service far beyond any calling to teach or lead in the Church. She sees a need and serves; not “Call me if you need help,” but “Here I am; what can I do?” She does so many small things, like holding someone’s child in a meeting or taking a child to school who has missed the bus. She always looks for new faces at church and steps forward to make them welcome.
Her husband knows that when they attend a ward social, he can generally count on her saying, “Why don’t you go along home. I see they are a little short on help to clear up and do the dishes.”
He came home one evening to find her putting the furniture back in place. That morning she had the feeling that she should see how an elderly sister with a heart condition was managing a wedding breakfast for a grandchild who had come from out of state to be married in the temple.
She found the woman sitting alone at the church, in despair, surrounded by the things she had brought in preparation. Somehow there had been a double booking of the hall. In a few hours the guests would arrive. Whatever could she do?
This attentive sister took the older sister home with her and put her down to rest. Then she went to work moving the furniture around. When the guests arrived, a beautiful wedding breakfast was ready to be served.
Think about people in your family or community who are in need economically, socially, physically, or spiritually. Ponder things you can do to serve them.

Why the Savior wants us to serve others
Through the service of men and women and boys and girls, God’s work is done. President Spencer W. Kimball explained: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 82).

What blessings do we receive through service to others?
When we serve others we gain important blessings. Through service we increase our ability to love. We become less selfish. As we think of the problems of others, our own problems seem less serious. We must serve others to gain eternal life. God has said that those who live with Him must love and serve His children (see Matthew 25:34–40).

President Spencer W. Kimball said, “We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to ‘find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 85–86).

The Savior provided the perfect example of service.
He explained that He didn’t come to earth to be served but to serve and to give His life for us (see Matthew 20:28).

Jesus Christ loves all of us more than we can understand.

He is the Creator of the earth and our Savior, yet He did many humble acts of service. Just before His Crucifixion He met with His disciples. After teaching them, He took a basin of water and a towel and washed their feet (see John 13:4–10; see also the picture in this chapter). In those days washing a visitor’s feet was a sign of honor and was usually done by a servant. Jesus did it as an example of love and service. When we willingly serve others in the spirit of love, we become more like Christ.

Dallin H. Oakes: "Our Savior...taught that each of us should follow him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to service others."

Related posts:
Delight in service and good works
Your personal ministry, Bishop Pope
Visiting teaching, the movie

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