Friday, September 19, 2008


"In the New Testament we learn that it is impossible to take a right attitude toward Christ without taking an unselfish attitude toward men. In the book of Matthew, Jesus taught, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:40)." -Pres. Monson

"Albert Schweitzer, the noted theologian and missionary physician, declared: 'I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.' "
-Pres. Monson

"Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save." -Pres. Monson

Can I just say I love Pres. Monson?

Anyway, onto my soapbox I go. . .

Last Thursday evening a storm began brewing at around 5:00. The wind whipped like crazy and we were hopeful that it would rain. I heard a knock on the door and my friend Melissa is standing there, and I think I hear her say "where's your garbage can?" (yes, the wind was whipping loudly and I worried it had blown away), but she was really asking where my garbage can goes so that she could go put it back behind the gate, safe and sound. Once I realized what she wanted, I tried to hand over Reagan so that I could go and do it myself, but she refused and told me "I'm on a mission to save garbage cans."

I don't know how many other garbage cans were saved that day, but I do know that it was a nice gesture and make me wonder if I do little things like that enough for my friends and neighbors.

Then I remembered another lesson Melissa taught me a few months ago. I had just had Reagan and at that time neither Wal-mart nor Fry's were built by our house so going to the store wasn't a quick, easy thing. I remember she called me one day and casually said,

"I'm going to the store and wondered if you needed me to pick up anything?"
Not a big deal, but it really made me feel good inside (yeah, that's what service does) just to know how sweet that she even thought of me.

I ususally think of service as something that needs to be planned, organized and carried out. You know, like a "service project" or bringing dinner to someone after they had a baby or a surgery or having the compassionate service leader call you to watch someone's kids. Yeah, that's service.

Epiphany. I've known it my whole life from watching my mother's example and at times of my life I've recognized and tried to implement, but last week it was brought to my attention once again: the truest form of service.

I believe the truest form of service is the kind that is impromptu, from the heart and almost so simple that it seems too easy to be labeled "service." And yet that is the service that really shows someone you care because it would have been just as easy to go on with your life and not put forth that extra effort.

Like Melissa could have just skipped phoning me and gone on her happy way or she could have just gotten out of the wind and into the safety of her car, not caring about the garbage cans. Growing up, Cyndee constantly taught this to us as we quite often would go and buy Thirstbusters for some random man working outside in the 100+ weather or any number of small such things.

I realize that starting today I need to do more to recognize the little things and just do them without thinking twice like Melissa.

For example, last Saturday was the Primary practice and I considered, yes even walked to the doorway of my awesome next-door neighbor to see if she wanted me to take her son, but then my little voice inside me (not the still, small one) told me not to disturb her on a Saturday morning so I turned around and left. When I saw her walk in with him about 10 minutes late, I felt horrible that I just didn't DO IT. (hopefully she doesn't regularly read my blog or she'll know how horrible I am.)

That's my lesson, iddy-bitty confession and challenge for today.

And here are a few more inspiring quotes I found (gotta love quotes)--

"Serving others need not come from spectacular events. Often it is the simple daily act that gives comfort, uplifts, encourages, sustains, and brings a smile to others. May we always find opportunities to serve." -Michael J. Tey

"Stretching our souls in service helps us to rise above our cares, concerns, and challenges. As we focus our energies on lifting the burdens of others, something miraculous happens. Our own burdens diminish. We become happier. There is more substance to our lives." - David S. Baxter

"Many of us will not survive our tests in mortality without help from others. And just as true: in helping others we keep our own spirits alive." -Kathleen H. Hughes


Amy said...

This is such a fantastic reminder for me, Mandi. Thank you. So beautifully written. And, perhaps you don't realize it, but you're always doing little things for me and I truly appreciate them. I love having you live so close!

Melissa M. said...

MY confession:
I talk myself out of doing something nice for someone all of the time. I am always afraid they are going to think I'm strange (I know, they already do) so I just go about my life.
MY resolution:
Let's you, Amy, and I start a "Do-gooder's Club". I am not even joking!

Megan said...

Enjoyed reading this, great reminder. So funny you would write about service, because it's been something nagging in the back of my head that I need to give more attention to.

Tiffany said...

Thanks for the great thoughts--just the right thing to read today!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Amy sent me your link Mandi and I just loved this post! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.