Yesterday in Relief Society, we had the President Lee lesson on Energetic and Faithful Service in the Kingdom. It was a wonderful lesson. We ended up making so many comments that we ran out of time...which is just fine. I came home thinking about how blessed I am both when others serve me and when I serve others. All day yesterday, I found myself reflecting on the blessings of service. Here are some of the blessings I see from service:
*I feel increased gratitude toward Heavenly Father for what I have. When I serve others and learn of their challenges, I feel so grateful for my own challenges.
*Service can help develop or strengthen relationships. I've thought often how many of the people I am closest to or that I have the most love for are people that I have served or people that I've served beside. There's one person that I associate with that I have had a hard time feeling close to. We have some similiarities but also some differences that in the past have felt significant to me. I didn't dislike her; but I didn't feel close to her at all. However, after having the opportunity to serve her and interact with her more, I feel like we are friends. Service in the church or the community or the family strengthens relationships. It deepens love and compassion.
*Service can help aid inspiration. The Ensign this month has an article on revelation. It says that we often receive revelation when we are busy serving or working. We do need to ponder and pray, but often inspiration comes after we've pondered, prayed and then gone to work. I've found that is often true for me.
*Service often requires us to seek help from our Father in Heaven. Many of the responsiblities we are given in the church require us to stretch, lead, teach and perform labors that we cannot do on our own. We must turn to Him to seek guidance, strength, wisdom and to increase our knowledge, faith and ability. It helps us recognize our dependence upon Him and trust Him.
*Service brings us joy. Especially when we perform the service willingly, we feel joy. However, I've found that often, even if I didn't really want to perform the service, I still feel joy and peace if I do it anyway.
*Service helps us become more selfless. At least for a short time, it helps us reach beyond our own selfish needs, wants and desires and to put others ahead of ourselves.
*Service makes the world a better, safer, happier place.
*Service helps us become more like our Savior. The Savior went about doing good. He healed the sick, blessed the children, taught the people and loved and ministered to each person. As we minister and serve, we are following in His footsteps. We become more like Him. We become who we truly are, who we were always meant to become. We begin to develop charity, the pure love of Christ. Step by step, with each act, we make this world a little better and we change our hearts, receive His image in our countenances. Until one day He will say, "Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth" (Alma 5:16)