I substituted for Relief Society yesterday.
The lesson was on a talk give by Dallin H. Oaks in the last General Conference.
The title is Unselfish Service D (without the D but I can't do the link without the D). You can read the whole talk and it really is worthwhile.
I loved all the conference talks, but after reading this one 7-8 times and pondering it all week, I really came to love it.
The crux of this talk is that in order to come unto the Savior, we need to lose ourselves in service.
The Savior told his disciples:
“If any man will come after me [He said], let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” Matthew 16:24-25
I particularly appreciated that the title of this talk was not just "Service," but "Unselfish Service."
Sometimes we are reluctant to serve because we 1) don't have time - we're busy with families 2) we are afraid our efforts won't be good enough or 3) we feel like we already served and someone else should do it this time.
1) Sometimes our time is limited. There are definitely seasons when it is easier to serve. But all of us can find a little bit of time to help someone in need. We can make a phone call and friendship someone new. We can double our recipe and make an extra dessert or meal for someone. We can involve our children in service and let them reap the rewards and feel the happiness of serving at a young age.
2) Our abilities are good enough! We may not be gourmet cooks or concert pianists but neither of those are required to assist others. All of us have talents and abilities that can be used to help lift others. One sister told about livng in a tiny apartment that didn't even have room for a table. She was reluctant to have the missionaries over for dinner because there was no where for them to eat. She overcame her worries and served them dinner on TV trays while they sat on the couch. She and her husband sat on the floor with their plates on the coffee table. Everyone ate, everyone had a good time.
3)There is always plenty of work to go around. Just as we welcome help around the house from our husbands and children, our Relief Society Presidents, Elders' Quorum Presidents and Bishops welcome our efforts at visiting teaching, befriending less active members, reaching out to the youth, and assisting in anyway to lighten their burdens. We made convenants at baptism and in the temple to help others and to consecrate our time and talents to the Lord.
Gordon B. Hinckley said, “He who lives only unto himself withers and dies, while he who forgets himself in the service of others grows and blossoms in this life and in eternity.”
President Thomas S. Monson said, “You can never love the Lord until you serve Him by serving His people.”
As is always the case in Relief Society, we had a stimulating discussion and many were willing to share their experiences and insights. The time flew by and we obviously didn't get to discuss every aspect of the talk.
I highly recommend reading it!!!