Serving Together

I’m learning over and over that one can be a very weak number. Don’t get me wrong — there are times when one person can start something huge. But notice the word “start.” Sustaining an effort is tiresome and overwhelming. That was part of what we covered in our self-reliance class last week.

It was interesting to note the atmosphere of the room as we reviewed this segment. Not only are we coming from places that are about an hour apart, we all seem to be a bit on the introverted side. I’m not sure we’re completing this assignment as it was intended, so I’m writing the thoughts and inspiration that came to me as I have studied and pondered.

PRESIDENT DIETER F. UCHTDORF:
Brothers and sisters, we each have a covenant responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of others and serve as the Savior did—to reach out, bless, and uplift those around us.

Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us. Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits, remove the scales from our  spiritual eyes, and open the windows of heaven. By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answer to our own.
(“Waiting on the Road to Damascus,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 76)

One of the problems that was discussed in our meeting is the problem of sending those that need help to those you know have the resources to help them and having that second avenue of help fall short. You feel awful for making the suggestion, and the person who needs help often ends up hurt and confused.

We can’t make people help us or others. We can’t “fix” other people. But we can lead the way and get something started.

Here are some important tips that I have gleaned from my studies:

  1. We can’t meet needs unless we are aware of needs. We need to build relationships with the people around us. We need to observe. We need to ask with politeness and tact. We need to pray for inspiration.
  2. We need to be ready to act. Knowing needs is pointless unless we’re going to do something about it. We can pray to know how to help, we can pray to have the courage to help, and we can pray to know who can help us give help.
  3. We need to invite others to join us when it is appropriate. Even if we are turned down, we need to invite in a spirit of love. Hearts can change. We may find other sources of combined effort through a turned-down invitation. Many times, a personal invitation extended in love is met with a positive response.

In the end, we need to be willing to work alone but open to collaborating with others. We are never alone because we are on the Lord’s errand and He is always with us.

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