“No Less Serviceable”


service-637746-tabletAs I was pulling up resources for this post, I realized that my brain had put things together and remembered the scriptures incorrectly. I had always thought that the phrase “no less serviceable” in the Book of Mormon had been applied to Nephi’s brother, Sam. Instead, I have found that it actually was applied to Helaman and his brothers when compared to Moroni (see Alma 48:19). Fortunately, the error doesn’t change  the message I have been turning over in my mind.

My Diva Complex

I find it amusing that I, an avowed introvert, call myself a diva, but it’s true. I do like to be in the spotlight, and I like to think that people appreciate my talents and the things I have to offer. When it’s good, I live for being noticed.

When trying to live the gospel, this becomes a problem. I have been on the receiving end of service that felt like it was being done with pomp and circumstance so that the server would be noticed and receive brownie points for being such a good person. It stinks. It feels fake. It feels like I’m being used.

So, if I hate being on the receiving end, I would never want to be on the giving end!

The “Also Served”

I think that’s why I’m fascinated by the concept of being “no less serviceable.” In life, not everyone can be the leader — someone has to follow. Someone has to be behind the scenes, supporting the leaders when they take the heavy hits because they are in the spotlight. Someone has to be content to live behind the scenes, satisfied with knowing their contribution is important and that they make a difference — even if no one else notices.

The problem here is that it can feel completely thankless. That’s a tough place to live. At some point, everyone needs a pat on the back, a word of appreciation, or some token that lets them know that they matter.

Phrases in the Scriptures

Maybe that’s why we have some of these phrases like “no less serviceable” in the scriptures. I’m sure the idea could have been written some other way, but this wording stands out to me. Because it stands out, it sticks in my mind. Because it sticks in my mind, the Holy Spirit can use it to remind me that, even when it seems like no one else notices the good that I am trying to accomplish, my Father in Heaven notices, and He approves. For me, that’s worth more than a thousand thank you notes.

Further Reading

Others have written on the topic, and I think they’ve done a better job:

President Howard W. Hunter — “No Less Serviceable”

Neal A. Maxwell — Content with the Things Allotted Unto Us

Rex D. Pinegar — The Simple Thingsyouth-cleaning-lds-meetinghouse-478888-tablet