Wednesday, November 16, 2016

President Spencer W. Kimball on our opportunities to do good

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"Each of us has more opportunities to do good and to be good than we ever use. These opportunities lie all around us. Whatever the size of our present circle of effective influence, if we were to improve our performance even a little bit, that circle would be enlarged. There are many individuals waiting to be touched and loved if we care enough to improve in our performance.
"We must remember that those mortals we meet in parking lots, offices, elevators, and elsewhere are that portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve. It will do us little good to speak of the general brotherhood of mankind if we cannot regard those who are all around us as our brothers and sisters. If our sample of humanity seems unglamorous or so very small, we need to remember the parable Jesus gave us in which he reminded us that greatness is not always a matter of size or scale, but of the quality of one's life. If we do well with our talents and with the opportunities around us, this will not go unnoticed by God. And to those who do well with the opportunities given them, even more will be given!"
- Spencer W. Kimball, "Jesus: The Perfect Leader", address to the Young Presidents organization, Sun Valley, Idaho, 15 January 1977; see Ensign, Aug 1979, p. 6
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President Kimball's thought brings to mind the words of  hymn:
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed....
There are chances for work all around just now,
Opportunities right in our way.
Do not let them pass by, saying, 'Sometime I'll try,'
But go and do something today.
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.
("Have I Done Any Good?" by Will L. Thompson, Hymns #223)
What a difference there would be in the world "if we [each] were to improve our performance even a little bit." The ripples of kindness and goodness would reach far.

President Kimball goes on to remind us that all of us are surrounded by people who have needs, and are our brothers and sisters. In our individual situation, the people around us "are that portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve." As we improve our performance, greater opportunities will be given to us.

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