Tuesday, July 11, 2017

President Thomas S. Monson on serving one another in the Church

President Thomas S. Monson (b. August 21, 1927) was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1963. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency with Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley before becoming Church president in 2008.
"Though exaltation is a personal matter, and while individuals are saved not as a group but indeed as individuals, yet one cannot live in a vacuum. Membership in the Church calls forth a determination to serve. A position of responsibility may not be of recognized importance, nor may the reward be broadly known. Service, to be acceptable to the Savior, must come from willing minds, ready hands, and pledged hearts.
"Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant companion. In our ears there may sound the sophistry of Satan as he whispers, 'You cannot save the world; your small efforts are meaningless. You haven’t time to be concerned for others.' Trusting in the Lord, let us turn our heads from such falsehoods and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls dedicated to follow the example of the Lord. In moments when the light of resolution dims and when the heart grows faint, we can take comfort from His promise: 'Be not weary in well-doing. … Out of small things proceedeth that which is great.'
"'Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.' (D&C 64:33–34.)"
- Thomas S. Monson, "The Path to Peace," General Conference, April 1994
Click here to read or listen to the complete talk

President Monson comments in this excerpt on the essential nature of service for members of the Church. Not only is there an expectation of participation in callings and assignments, but he believes that our membership "calls forth a determination to serve"—even when positions are less visible or recognized. That supposed prominence or importance is not meaningful to God; He cares only that our service comes "from willing minds, ready hands, and pledged hearts."

However, sometimes we feel discouraged in our efforts to serve, wondering if we are accomplishing what is expected or what we would like to achieve. We may not feel we are making much of a difference. President Monson helps us understand the correct way to handle those concerns:

We should always be grateful for the reminder that even small things can lead to great results in the hands of the Lord. We need not change the world all at once; we just need to continue making a small difference anywhere we can.

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

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