Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Service: Find Yourself

LDS Missionaries Helping to Cleanup
Flood Damage
Last week, a group of LDS (Mormon) missionaries, myself included, made our way to Roundup, Montana where severe flooding had taken place the previous week. The small town was consumed in a muddy mess, which we had the privilege of making our way through to tear out carpet, knock down dry wall, and move furniture that had been soaked by the waters of the overflowing Mussel Shell River.

Flood in Roundup, MT

As worked for hours in the muck, the knowledge I had already of service was expanded and I found that I was happy.  You may ask, is it possible to be happy when working in a pool of mud and debris for hours on end? I'll tell you from first hand experience that the words of Spencer W. Kimball rang true to me on that day. He said, "The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to “find” ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!"

It is true, the tedious tasks that were at hand in Roundup brought happiness to my soul because I knew that we were helping those who were truly in need of our help. I truly realized that as we serve others, we realize our potential. As we freely give of ourselves to help others we emulate the example of Jesus Christ.

Benjamin, a prophet in the Book of Mormon tells us,"... when you are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17) It is so true! As we serve others we bring ourselves closer to our Father in Heaven. As we helped the citizens of Roundup I felt as though Heavenly Father was smiling down on us, pleased with our effort.

Downtown Roundup, MT During Flood

The wonderful thing is that we can all serve. It's not limited to any one group or people. There is always some way to serve. Just smiling at someone who looks as though they are having a rough day, is a great service. There is always service to be done, and every time we help and serve others without wanting or asking for anything in return, it is almost as though you can feel heaven smiling down.

Growing up, it often felt like clouds of darkness were always over me. The pit of depression was often upon me. I was truly lost. I searched for ways to pull myself out. Serving others and losing myself by helping others was the first thing that really ever worked. I noticed that the more I served others the happier I became. Soon the desire to follow Christ came, and the desire to live more principles of the gospel followed. I'm still not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I can honestly say that through serving others, I have found myself.

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