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Monday, August 4, 2014

Seek to Serve

It's hot tonight in Oregon, and Oregon doesn't believe in AC, just box fans in the window. When its this hot I can't sleep. When I can't sleep I either listen to the Helen Jane Long radio station on Pandora (calm piano), or listen to the scriptures/conference talks on the Gospel Library app for Android.

Tonight, I chose the October 1997 General Conference. I got through the first two talks before I had to move to a cooler location. (I.e. the couch) So here I am, on the couch blogging from my smartphone.

Before I started this though I was stalking my measly 200 friends on Facebook. One of them posted this meme:

Found here

This meme went perfectly with those first two conference talks. In the second talk, "Called to Serve", President Boyd K. Packer talks about our service in the church, not just serving in callings, but serving with our hearts, and spirits, not just when called by revelation from Priesthood Authority, but when revelation from the Holy Ghost calls us to serve.

This goes in line with the meme above because we don't know the fight others are putting up, but our Father in Heaven does, and he gives each of us the Gift and inspiration of the Holy Ghost to serve our fellow creatures.

The first steps are the hardest. We don't always know the voice of the Spirit if we aren't accustomed to listening to it. So we don't know if we are on a wild goose chase, or following the Spirit until we've tested our inspiration.  However, we can learn to hear that voice, and discern its origin.

Elder Packer tells us to " cultivate a spirit of service." And this may be the best advice. We need to first show the Lord that we are willing to serve, and will follow his inspiration. When we have proven that he can trust us with his revelations, then he can send us where he needs us.

How do we cultivate the Spirit of service? Just do it. Get out there, and serve. Start with helping set up chairs before church, prepare your lessons, talks, etc. Carefully and with your class in mind. Pray for guidance. Talk to your bishop about your desire to build your desire to serve.

There is also an unintended consequence of service. I've seen it more times than I know. That is friendship. When you serve others you learn to love them, and you make strong bonds based on mutual respect, and love.

This, I think, is an important lesson for our day. We live in a world that is perpetually more and more inward facing. Many people care only for themselves, and their conveniences. Few take their headphones off to listen, talk, or serve. It is a sad state of affairs.

Let us not forget the two greatest commandments, to love God first, and our neighbor second. I pray that we haven't yet forgotten, and if we have, that we can remember again.

Remember, you don't know the struggle of another, so be prepared to listen to the Spirit, and serve with all your heart. If you are prepared, the Lord will trust you to follow his guidance.