Wednesday, October 31, 2018

President Spencer W. Kimball on serving one another

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. The people of the Church need each other’s strength, support, and leadership in a community of believers as an enclave of disciples. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read about how important it is to '… succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees' (D&C 81:5). So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and from small but deliberate deeds!
"As the contrasts between the ways of the world and the ways of God become sharpened by circumstance, the faith of the members of the Church will be tried even more severely. One of the most vital things we can do is to express our testimonies through service, which will, in turn, produce spiritual growth, greater commitment, and a greater capacity to keep the commandments."
- Spencer W. Kimball, "Small Acts of Service," Ensign, December 1974
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This is a classic quote from President Kimball's writings. It has been frequently quoted by other leaders. It's helpful to ponder the quote both as a receiver and a giver. There are times when we are all in need of help, and we may pray to God for divine intervention; but so often, God's help comes in the form of one of His children who is sensitive to spiritual promptings and will come to our aid. We need to be willing to receive that assistance, knowing that it represents God's watching over us in a very real way.

And as individuals who have the capacity to give and help, we should always be open to those opportunities to provide the help that others are seeking; we then become instruments in God's hands in doing good, even in answering prayers.

I also loved the reminder that most of our acts of service are not grand and glorious sacrifices or complicated extended efforts, but "consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks." Sometimes those small, simple things can make a remarkable difference in the life of another!

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

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