• How can we learn to be more thoughtful of the feelings and needs of others?
• What are some ways we can serve our families, friends, and communities?
• How does service bless both the giver and the receiver?
• How might the intentions of our hearts affect how we serve?
Excerpt from "Unselfish Service," by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, April 2009 General Conference:
A great example of unselfish service is the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose vow committed herself and her fellow workers to “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.” 9 She taught that “one thing will always secure heaven for us—the acts of charity and kindness with which we have filled our lives.” 10 “We can do no great things,” Mother Teresa maintained, “only small things with great love.” 11 When this wonderful Catholic servant died, the First Presidency’s message of condolence declared, “Her life of unselfish service is an inspiration to all the world, and her acts of Christian goodness will stand as a memorial for generations to come.” 12 That is what the Savior called losing our lives in service to others.
Each of us should apply that principle to our attitudes in attending church. Some say “I didn’t learn anything today” or “No one was friendly to me” or “I was offended” or “The Church is not filling my needs.” All those answers are self-centered, and all retard spiritual growth.
In contrast, a wise friend wrote:
“Years ago, I changed my attitude about going to church. No longer do I go to church for my sake, but to think of others. I make a point of saying hello to people who sit alone, to welcome visitors, … to volunteer for an assignment. …
“In short, I go to church each week with the intent of being active, not passive, and making a positive difference in people’s lives. Consequently, my attendance at Church meetings is so much more enjoyable and fulfilling.” 13
All of this illustrates the eternal principle that we are happier and more fulfilled when we act and serve for what we give, not for what we get.