Friday, May 8, 2009

Unselfish Service

I listened to this talk the other day by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the 12 Apostles from this most recent Conference. I love the whole talk and wanted to share some pieces of it:
"Our Savior gave Himself in unselfish service. He taught that each of us should follow Him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to serve others.
“If any man will come after me [He said], let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24–25; see also Matthew 10:39).

[President Hinckley said], “He who lives only unto himself withers and dies, while he who forgets himself in the service of others grows and blossoms in this life and in eternity.”

President Monson said. “He gave sight to the blind, legs to the lame, and life to the dead. Perhaps when we [face] our Maker, we will not be asked, ‘How many positions did you hold?’ but rather, ‘How many people did you help?’ In reality,” President Monson concluded, “you can never love the Lord until you serve Him by serving His people.”




Those who are caught up in trying to save their lives by seeking the praise of the world are actually rejecting the Savior’s teaching that the only way to save our eternal life is to love one another and lose our lives in service.

C. S. Lewis explained this teaching of the Savior: “The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan”

We live in a time when sacrifice is definitely out of fashion, when the outside forces that taught our ancestors the need for unselfish cooperative service have diminished. Someone has called this the “me” generation—a selfish time when everyone seems to be asking, what’s in it for me?
Entitlement is generally selfish. It demands much, and it gives little or nothing. Its very concept causes us to seek to elevate ourselves above those around us.

The values of the world wrongly teach that “it’s all about me.” That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth. It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for His children. The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that this life is all about what we can become.



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.” She taught that “one thing will always secure heaven for us—the acts of charity and kindness with which we have filled our lives.” “We can do no great things,” Mother Teresa maintained, “only small things with great love.” 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.” 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.” 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."

To view the full text of the talk click here: http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1032-29,00.html










2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day!!

-Tony

Alicia said...

Thanks Tony!!