Saturday, April 28, 2018

Elder D. Todd Christofferson on unexpected blessings of service to others

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (b. January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"In addition to true fulfillment and happiness, a devotion to service will give balance to your life.  If there is ever-present in your soul a desire to be of service, it will keep other virtuous motivations from becoming vices, as sometimes happens.  For example, in some people the desire to make a comfortable living for themselves and their family has evolved over time into greed, and that greed when unchecked has manifested itself in unethical, even criminal conduct.  Motivation toward self-improvement or self-fulfillment if taken to the extreme can morph into selfishness and narcissism.  Service will be your antidote against selfishness and the sense of entitlement that more and more afflict societies around the world.  The desire to serve people will act as a governor over other motivations keeping those that are good in their proper channel and eliminating those that are unworthy.  Your service will bless others, but it will also protect you."
- D. Todd Christofferson, "Service and Fulfillment," LDSBC 2012 Commencement Address, April 13, 2012
Click here to read the complete talk

Elder Christofferson shares an interesting perspective on the benefits of serving others.When we are blessed with success and prosperity, it's easy to lose perspective and have the acquisition of wealth or influence become a dominating motivator. But turning our focus to others can help us to retain the proper perspective in life:

We are not used to the term "governor" in this context. A governor is a mechanical device that was invented to control the speed of a machine; they were used in windmills and early steam engines, and even on more modern engines and motors. Elder Christofferson suggests that service can function in this way, to regulate and control our activities so they are properly directed. Service then becomes the "antidote against selfishness and the sense of entitlement" that can direct our lives in the proper way, allowing our blessings to be used for good in God's hands.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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