Earlier this week, the Sister missionaries who serve in our ward sat with me as we waited for an investigator to meet with us. Since he was late, we had time to chat.
The Sisters quietly asked me if there were something they needed to do differently in our ward because whenever they asked someone to do something, there were only a small handful of us who would help out. These sweet girls wondered if they had done something offensive.
As the Sisters shared various experiences, it soon came out that each individual asked to help would say something like, “I would love to, but I’m so busy. Could you find someone else?” Then, when the Sisters had exhausted their resources, they would send a mass email out to the ward and quickly their phone would ring! “Oh! You really did need help with such-and-so! I can help!”
Our ward, like so many others, is filled with wonderful individuals striving to keep covenants, raise families, work, and take care of a myriad of responsibilities that are never-ending!
We are, all of us, so very, very busy. There are only a finite number of hours in our day and an infinite amount of good we can do in those hours. Yet, each and every one of us want to keep our baptismal covenants to bear one another’s burdens! We know that when we are serving one another, we are serving God! We know that our Savior has asked us to love one another.
Yet, we are not always stepping up when opportunities to serve arise!
Sometimes, I worry that we allow callings to define the parameters of our outreach. I am so grateful for the recent introduction of the Ministering initiative! It gives us the focus of serving wherever and whenever needed!
Our Savior went about doing good—wherever He was. He simply saw needs and took care of them. Because Christ’s reputation preceded Him, people in need would seek Him out, knowing He would bless their lives.
The woman healed of the issue of blood. The man whose friends lowered him through a hole in a roof. These individuals were desperate for the healing Christ could give them and they went to extraordinary efforts to seek Him out.
What if you and I could be the same? What if our reputations of kindness and service were so great that they preceded us? That others in need would seek us out, knowing that they would find a listening ear and a kind word when they found us.
A true disciple of Christ is someone who lives a Godly way, not someone who temporarily has a title. Callings and titles come and go; however, our decision to follow Christ is an eternal one. Our actions will define our influence far more than a temporary calling.
Service in the Lord’s kingdom is not defined by a calling. True, a calling gives a stewardship, but it doesn’t limit the amount of opportunities to serve each of us has.
The Lord’s kingdom is so much bigger than the brick and mortar edifice we worship in each week! We are literally surrounded on every side by brothers and sisters who chose to follow the plan of salvation in the pre-existence, and the Lord is just as anxiously concerned for their welfare as He is for those who are attending church each week.
Let’s lengthen our stride! Let’s embrace each opportunity to serve as it comes. Let us make our schedules flex around our service opportunities! Sadly, service opportunities usually don’t arrive according to the available time we have each week. We need to change our mindsets so that when an opportunity comes along, we don’t shrug and say, “I wish I could, but I’m busy.” Instead, we:
- Rearrange our schedule!
- Re-prioritize—make serving one of our highest priorities!
- Respond, “Absolutely!”
“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 2:16–17.)
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of almost 20 years.