The following responses have been edited for length and clarity.
When we think about life-altering service, we might picture some big, superhuman feat that took countless hours to prepare.
But the truth is, some of the most meaningful and memorable acts of service are small—done with almost no forethought or effort.
As we move forward in our church callings and ministering efforts, these 10 examples of small acts of service from our LDS Living readers might help you find the perfect way to help those around you.
1. Almost five years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disease. I developed terrible anxiety. It took me six weeks to recover enough to leave my house. I was so happy to get back to church. However, I couldn't step into the chapel because anxiety hit me so hard. I sat with my kids in the foyer. I cried every time. After sacrament, I'd walk my kids to class and then sit in the mother's room crying until classes ended. One sister sat with me many Sundays, holding me or holding my hand, just being with me as I cried. It meant so much to me to not be alone. So many sisters who helped me those first two horrible years taught me much about compassion and the value of just sitting with someone in need.
2. When I was feeling that no one in the church really wanted me around, a dear sister came towards me and wrapped her arms around me! I can still feel the warmth of her hug and the love she showed me that day. It gave me the strength to keep trying. I often think of how her kindness made such a big difference to me that day. I will cherish that sweet sister forever!
3. After my husband was in a life-altering accident, a ward member said to me, "There will come a time when you need something and you don't know who to ask. Ask me." I did, and she went above and beyond what I asked, taking the time to listen to me and comfort me as well as provide the service I needed. I will never forget it.
4. When I was first married, my husband had to work on Sundays. So I walked into our new ward alone. A sister came and sat by me and introduced herself and told me the names of some of the people who were around us. It's been 17 years; that has always stayed with me.
5. It was August and I was eight months pregnant and had a broken elbow. Many people served me, but the love offered by my Relief Society president went above and beyond as she saw needs and filled them without prompting. The greatest act of service came from her as she French braided my long hair and my young daughter’s hair.
6. After several years of inactivity, my visiting teacher asked if she could come and pick me up for church the next day. She did, and I have been active ever since. That was over 10 years ago, and every time I walk into a chapel or temple, I think of her.
7. I have a disabled son. For several years, he had a tracheostomy tube in his throat. I could not get any help looking after him for any reason. A lady who I didn't know came up to me in church and asked if I would show her how to change my son's trach tube. I thought that was a weird request. I thought she was morbidly curious. I asked, "Why?" She said, "So I can take care of him for you." She ended up being one of my best friends and gave me much-needed respite. I was recently single and had five more children 12 years old and younger.
8. After I moved to a new ward, which involved a cross country move, I got sick. I didn't know anyone very well yet, but a sweet young mother from up the street came by to see how I was. She brought me some drinks and food. I didn't need anything, but what she gave me was just knowing that someone cared in a place where I knew almost no one. I'll never forget that simple act of kindness.
9. I had dislocated my ankle and my Relief Society president, who I called Momma Blue, woke up very early to help our two oldest at the time to get on the bus. She would come back later to clean my home, do my laundry, and talk with me. She filled my heart with so much love for her. She was completely Christlike.
10. A group of sisters that brought me cookies and invited me to an activity right after I told my roommates that I was probably going to stop attending church. My roommates wanted to tell the sisters to leave, but I couldn't ignore their act of kindness. And I never did leave the Church.