RAK: Small Acts of Service
by President Spencer W. Kimball, “Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec 1974
In these days of selfishness, what is the most important contribution we can make?
I have learned that it is by serving that we learn how to serve. When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves. In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus, that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves. (See Matt. 10:39.)
Not only do we “find” ourselves in terms of acknowledging guidance in our lives, but the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. 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!
George MacDonald observed that “it is by loving and not by being loved that one can come nearest to the soul of another.” (George MacDonald Anthology, Geoffrey Bles, London, 1970.) Of course, we all need to be loved, but we must be giving and not always receiving if we want to have wholeness in our lives and a reinforced sense of purpose.
Sometimes the solution is not to change our circumstance, but to change our attitude about that circumstance; difficulties are often opportunities for service. Someone has said that hell “is frozen in self-pity.”
God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. The people of the Church need each other’s strength, support, and leadership in a community of believers as an enclave of disciples. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read about how important it is to “… succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” (D&C 81:5.) 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!
As the contrasts between the ways of the world and the ways of God become sharpened by circumstance, the faith of the members of the Church will be tried even more severely. One of the most vital things we can do is to express our testimonies through service, which will, in turn, produce spiritual growth, greater commitment, and a greater capacity to keep the commandments.
There is great security in spirituality, and we cannot have spirituality without service!
Click here to read the full message by President Spencer W. Kimball.
Parts of this message are included here to help motivate me to serve more.