Sabbath Stories

Pay It Forward

No this is not the latest pyramid scheme!  This is many people doing random acts of service to others.  I love this idea and want to be a part of it!  Here are a couple of great links that help make that point:

Chick-fil-A Pay it Forward Chain

Kindness Boomerang

What have you done to “Pay It Forward”?  Share your stories and lets start a movement!

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Speaking of service… almost a month ago I listened to a talk at church that was so brilliant!  Don’t you love a talk like that?  One that wakes you up and makes you want to do better and be better!  The speaker was Jerron Green and his talk was on Service.  Such a simple topic but it moved me deeply and I knew Jerron had lived what he preached.  I would like to share some parts of his message here.

Hastening the Work through Service

 by Jerron Green

Serving - hands

“…But whosoever shall be willing to lose his life for my sake, and the gospel, the same shall save it”

Brothers and Sisters, why do we serve? To answer that question, I will be discussing the topic of Hastening the work through service (“the work” meaning the work of salvation). I would suggest there are three things that service does to help hasten the work: Enable, Disable, Re-Able. The points of what I’ll discuss are really based in the principles of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which is really the power that we must rely upon to hasten the work of the Lord.

Enable

How can service “enable” hastening the work? First, Service enables us personally. Many times in my life, and even thinking back on my mission, there were times where I would feel discouraged, and that things were not going as I thought they should.  As I would “forget myself and get to work”, as president Hinckley was once wisely told, things would change, especially my outlook.

This is taught by our Savior, when he said “Whosoever will save his life, shall lose it…But whosoever shall be willing to lose his life for my sake, and the gospel, the same shall save it” Mark 8:37–38. That scripture has many meanings, I believe, and one is that in this life as we lose ourselves in serving the lord, we find purpose, we become happier, more optimistic. This actually enables us and increases our capacity to do more. President Monson said “As we look heavenward, we inevitably learn of our responsibility to reach outward. To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves.” Service also enables us to improve our relationship with the Lord. President Monson continued “The New Testament teaches that it is impossible to take a right attitude toward Christ without taking an unselfish attitude toward men:”

Christ, of course was the perfect example of service throughout his life. Through the most selfless act of service ever given by anyone on this earth, the Savior’s atonement was the ultimate enabling act of service, which we must rely upon. Elder David A Bednar stated: “the enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do and be good and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity.”

Fly Fishing

fly fishing

If we do have desires to serve and are called to the work, the Lord will enable us and increase our capacity to fulfill that service that we are called to do. In Isaiah 40:31, it reads “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” One example of this, and many of you have heard this story before, is the story of the fish-hook. Just to warn you, If you have a weak stomach, you may want to plug your ears for a minute or two. 4 weeks before my mission, I went fly fishing with my dad. On the river, things were going great, we were having fun fishing. Suddenly out of nowhere, I thought I heard my dad call to me frantically, so I looked back…but I was in the middle of the motion of casting the fly. I noticed my dad didn’t appear to be calling to me, so I turned my attention back to what I was doing…unfortunately right at the wrong time.

As I looked back, the fly, hook and all. Hit me right in the eyeball. I instinctively, though not smartly, pulled it right out of my eye. Luckily, however, the barb had not pierced through…

Surgeons

To make a long story short, we were sent to the Moran Eye Center, and the on call doctor came in. The doctor immediately noticed that I had punctured my eyeball and the fluid inside my eyeball was leaking out, and he told me I needed surgery immediately. I told the doctor that I was to leave on a mission to Brazil in 4 weeks, and he said you will be lucky to go in 6-8 months to Brazil, if at all.

This news devastated me. As we were waiting for the surgeon to come, I asked my father to give me a priesthood blessing. As I pleaded in prayer to my heavenly father of my desire to serve my mission when I was called, my dad blessed me that I would be healed. The spirit spoke to me strongly that my father in heaven was fully aware of my heartache, disappointment and my pleadings in this situation.

As the surgeon came in and they took me to the operating room to prep me, the surgeon and doctor took another look at my eye. They could not find where the fish-hook had punctured my eye. After a while of looking, they finally found a spot where they thought the puncture was…however, they noticed that a flap of skin had sealed off the leak. No surgery was needed. I was given antibiotics, an eye patch, and left for my mission four weeks later.

Brothers and Sisters I had been called to serve. I had insurmountable odds of being able to fulfill that calling at the time I was called, but the Lord provided a way for me to serve.

Not only does service enable us individually to do more to hasten the work, Service also helps enables the church organization as a whole to hasten the work. While the savior was on the earth, he established a very specific structure and organization of the church. He chose twelve men through the laying on of hands to help him lead the Church and help handle the administration and ministration of the church. Certain apostles were called to be over specific administrative areas of the church.

We of course know that Christ’s organization, and the service involved in creating and maintaining that organization, was re-established in the Latter Days through the prophet Joseph Smith. Now, as many of you are aware, everything within the church does not run itself, acts of service are needed. Just look at today, for example, and the service that was (and will be) rendered. There were chairs set up, A program was organized and printed. Preparation meetings were and will be held. Teachers prepared lessons. Music was practiced. Speakers prepared talks. Even Before that, callings were issued, blessings were given, prayers were offered. Money must be handled and tracked correctly, members information updated and moved. Sacred ordinances are performed, which must be documented and recorded. Activities are thoroughly planned …I could go on and on. I think we could all agree there is a significant amount of administrative work that takes place in the church, through just about every calling.

Now, what is all this work really accomplishing? When those administrative and preparatory service efforts are performed to the best of our abilities, it enables us to come here, feel of the spirit, strengthen our testimonies and become closer to our Savior. As that happens, we are further enabled to help the organization of the church be more effective in hastening the work of the Lord.

Pres. Gordon B Hinckley stated “Serve wherever you are called to serve. Do what you are asked to do. Every position you hold will add to your capacity …Some of them may seem small, but there is no small or unimportant calling in this Church. Every calling is important. Every calling is necessary to the advancement of the work….you will discover that it will become an investment that will pay you dividends for as long as you live. “

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We will continue Jerron’s talk later and discuss what it means to “Disable Service”.  Great talk Jerron!  Thank you for letting me share it!

 

 

 

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