Friday, January 18, 2013

Christlike Service

"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." Mosiah 2:17
I have been feeling for months now that I should write this blog post. I don't know why but these thoughts of service I've seen in my life have left me feeling so grateful and inspired. I feel like I need to write them down. One thing that inspired me was this video and how a little service can impact the lives of individuals so greatly:
Service I've seen:
  • This is, by far, the incident that has left the biggest imprint on my heart and it brings me to tears every time I think of it. When Derrick and I got married we moved onto Stanford campus. We were far away from any immediate family or any friends we knew. When I was pregnant with Caleb I thought about the possibility of never having a baby shower because I didn't have anyone near us that would throw one for me. I would cry many nights thinking about that. I even prayed that there would be someone who would give one to me. One month my visiting teacher asked me if she could give me a baby shower. (In the LDS church each woman is assigned to visit another sister and assess her needs and the needs of her family). I was overjoyed that someone cared about me enough to do this act of love for me. This experience reminds me of the quote, “In the performance of our responsibilities, I have learned that when we heed a silent prompting and act upon it without delay, our Heavenly Father will guide our footsteps and bless our lives and the lives of others. I know of no experience more sweet or feeling more precious than to heed a prompting only to discover that the Lord has answered another person’s prayer through you.” --President Thomas S. Monson. I know that my visiting teacher acted on a prompting from the Holy Ghost and did indeed answer my yearning prayer.
  • Similar to the above story when Caleb was born we didn't think we would have anyone to come visit us at the hospital. But a couple from church, our parent's age, came on Easter morning to get a look at our less than a day old little boy. We felt so loved that our friends would come, with flowers, just as our own family would. It was nice to feel loved at a time that was so special to us.
  • The first Christmas we were married we went to visit Derrick's family in Utah. Derrick's mom had a operation just a few days before Christmas. The neighbors brought so many meals that their refrigerator was overflowing. The next door neighbor and her son shoveled snow from their driveway. Others stopped by just to make sure she was doing alright. There were 6 other adults in the house but that didn't matter because those people's hearts were so full of the spirit of Christ that they wanted to help when they knew there was a time of need. I love the example of those loving neighbors.
  • A few months ago Derrick's family was all meeting at BYU campus at the Cougar Eat to have a birthday dinner for Derrick's dad. Derrick was already at campus with recruiting stuff for his work so I had the kids by myself. As I was walking up to the door to head in I was wondering how I would open the door because I was holding Brynn, the diaper bag and a cake, with Caleb walking by my side. A young man walked out and was already a good 6 feet past the door when he noticed me. He immediately turned around and held the door for me.
  • On a similar note, when Derrick and I were dating we were driving in Derrick's roommate's car. Derrick was in the passenger seat and I was in the back. We past someone on the opposite side of the road whose car stopped working at a stoplight. Derrick immediately pointed it out as his roommate simultaneously turned the car around. They helped push the stuck car out of the road. Both this example and the one above is another great lesson to me: turn around! How often if we pass someone will say, "Oh well, it is too late, someone else will help." No, if we see someone in need we should not take pause but turn to help immediately, the Savior would.
  • A week ago I dropped Derrick off at BYU for another recruiting thing he had going on. I took the kids to the playplace at McDonalds while we waited for Derrick to be done. It was a snowy evening and the roads were very slick. When Derrick was done we went to pick him up. On an uphill turn I was headed for I had to stop because the car in front of me couldn't get up the hill because the tires weren't sticking to the road, the car kept sliding. After a minute a car stopped behind me and three collage aged boys hopped out of their car and pushed the one stuck in front of me. After they got the car around the turn they walked back to their car and as they passed me one of them gave me a thumbs up and mouthed smiling, "You'll be ok." I knew I would be. If my car didn't make it around the turn, they would be there to assist me. How great it was to know that. When we have a problem in our lives don't we want to know that we'll be ok? If someone is there to help us, we feel so much relief.
I am so grateful for so many Christlike examples of service. It has blessed my life and helped me to see what I need to do to love and care for others just as the Savior wants me to do. I pray that I can do better because I know I am so far from where I need to be. My instincts aren't so quick to serve, I have to make a conscious effort to help. I so often find myself rationalizing and pausing and I am trying to get around that. I am so thankful there are so many good examples for me to follow. I also have faith that through my daily scripture study I will start naturally being more Christlike because His words will be at the center of my being. I love Christ and often find myself getting so emotional about the sacrifice he made for me and everyone on the earth. I know He lives and we will live again too with everyone we love. How grateful I am for a testimony of Christ and the happiness and hope it brings to my life.

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