This blog chronicles Matthew Staib's progress as he serves an LDS mission over the course of twenty-four months.

You can also read his personal blog at different, defined.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Called to Serve

Good morning, Brothers and Sisters. I have been asked to choose my own topic that I would speak on. With general conference last weekend, I found several potential topics through the lessons of the speakers. Between the exciting announcement of the Provo tabernacle temple and the parenting tips given out to newly weds that were forced to be married from Spring conference, I found a message that I felt strongly enough about to speak to you today.
As members of the church, we are invited on many occasions to help those in need. This could be towards a friend, to a stranger, in a group or by yourself. Christ, during his ministry on Earth, helped anyone in need that would come to him. As members of His church, we must strive to become Christ-like and follow his example. Service is a great act of love that helps the person in need as well as spiritually strengthens the one giving the service.
         Sister Allred, First Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency, shared this story with us. “Rosa suffers from debilitating diabetes and other ailments. She joined the Church a few years ago. She is a single mother with an adolescent son. She frequently has to be hospitalized for a few days at a time. Her kind visiting teachers not only take her to the hospital, but they visit and comfort her at the hospital while also watching over her son at home and school. Her visiting teachers serve as her friends and family.”
         For me, doing service for someone else in need always makes me happy, no matter how big or small the task. I can only imagine the visiting teachers’ joy as they aided Rosa with her everyday life.
A few months ago, my family moved from Cedar Hills to Highland. This would be our second move within a year’s time, and none of us were looking forward to it. We had been to the Highland ward a couple of times, and families were shaking our hands left and right. When it came time to move, my dad asked if we could have a few people help move us from Cedar Hills to Highland. On the morning of moving day, more than a dozen fathers and sons were parked in front of our house wearing gloves and jeans. Everything was swiftly carried onto trailers and taken to our new home, where it was all neatly placed into its proper place. The service and caring nature of the new ward had blessed our lives from the day we walked into theirs.
King Benjamin is coined with the famous phrase, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.” King Benjamin not only taught this law; he lived it. He says, “And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should be nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne ­– and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day. Yet, my brethren, I have not done these things that I might boast, neither do I tell these things that thereby I might accuse you; but I tell you these things that ye may know that I can answer a clear conscience before God this day. Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.”
President Thomas S. Monson is our latter-day King Benjamin. He is well known for his wonderful gospel stories, and is endlessly serving others. Elder Eyring shared his own experience with President Monson. “President Thomas S. Monson, at the end of almost every meeting, asks the secretary to the First Presidency, ‘Am I up to date on my work?’ And he always smiles when the answer comes back: ‘Oh, yes, President, you are.’ President Monson’s pleased smile sends me a message. It makes me think, ‘Is there something more I could do on my assignments?’ And then I go back to my office to work.”
President Monson taught, “We will discover that those whom we serve, who have felt through our labors the touch of the Master’s hand, somehow cannot explain the change which comes into their lives. There is a desire to serve faithfully, to walk humbly, and to live more like the Savior. Having received their spiritual eyesight and glimpsed the promises of eternity, they echo the words of the blind man to whom Jesus restored sight, who said, ‘One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”
As a missionary, I understand that service will be one of the ways to open the hearts of those that would be interested in the church. I’ve heard many experiences from both of my older sisters who have served missions. Many of the people they baptized would not have taken that first step if it weren’t for their love of service. I am leaving to serve a mission. I am giving up my time, my talents and myself to God, and I know I will be in His safe and caring hands.

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