Sunday, August 6, 2017

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on Christlike service to others

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (born December 3, 1940) served as Church Commissioner of Education from 1976-1980, as the president of BYU from 1980-1989, as a Seventy from 1989-1994, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1994.
"One of the covenants we make at baptism is to serve. Loving service and devotion to the needs of others was perhaps the chief characteristic of the Savior's mortal life. It will always be a mark of the Master's disciples. At the Waters of Mormon, that small band of believers clapped for joy when they were invited to covenant through baptism that they would bear each other's burdens and comfort those who needed comfort. (See Mosiah 18:8-11.)
"In our day the Savior Himself has counseled: 'All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and... are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church' (D&C 20:37, emphasis added).
"Service is our duty—but it is more than duty; it is Christlike opportunity. He bore our burdens, and in bearing one another's burdens, we truly become more like Him. Service in the Church can be a burden of sorts, but it is a 'light' (Matthew 11:30; see also vv. 28-29) burden—all because we are in shoulder-to-shoulder association with the Savior of the world."
- Jeffrey R. Holland, "What I Wish Every New Member Knew—and Every Longtime Member Remembered," Ensign, October 2006, pp. 10-16
Click here to read or listen to the full article

What is the distinguishing characteristic of a Christian—one who strives to follow the teachings and example of the Savior? Elder Holland suggests that "loving service and devotion to the needs of others" would always be the mark of one of the Master's disciples. Fundamental to our covenants to follow Him are the agreements to "bear one another's burdens" and to "comfort those who stand in need of comfort."

The idea of a "light burden" is intriguing. The Savior said, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30). Though He carries the heavy yoke, it is easy and light to Him because of his love for us and his devotion to the Father. We can gain that same perspective as we mature in our discipleship and understand the sacred privilege of being linked to Him as we serve one another.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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