I spoke on "Whom do we serve" this past Sunday (7/17/16) in the LDS Lowell Ward. I should have practiced some of the transitions between points a bit more, as I rambled a bit at times. However, I think that it went well overall. I'm including the notes I used below.
- Introduce myself.
- High councilor that butchered your names during ward conference earlier this year.
- You may not know me, but I have become acquainted with and served with your Bishopric and other ward leaders. Great men and women whom I sustain.
- Natural introvert. Brother McCarthy was super friendly and introduced himself, but I haven’t talk to him since. Will try to do better.
- A fictional story in popular culture
- A child of wealthy parents found himself an orphan at a young age.
- Raised by the family butler, he became obsessed with how he could make a difference in his community.
- He served anonymously but still made a huge difference in his city and even the world.
- Some did ask about the identity of this shadowy benefactor, to whom he responded: “I AM BATMAN!”
- This is NOT a talk about how we should all don capes, masks, and spandex to fight crime.
- I’m a hero worshipper, but I mention Batman as a counterpoint: we often look to the heroic when what we need might be dismissed as mundane.
- Opportunities to serve surround us
- These are the times that try men’s souls
- The best of times, the worst of times
- Times of crisis
- Saving the Martin and Willie handcart companies
- Brigham Young’s sermon - “I will tell you all,” said he, “that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the celestial kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains, and attend strictly to those things which we call temporal, or temporal duties, otherwise your faith will be in vain; the preaching you have heard will be in vain to you, and you will sink to hell, unless you attend to the things we tell you”
- The three young men - When President Brigham Young heard of this heroic act, he wept like a child and later declared publicly: “That act alone will ensure C. Allen Huntington, George W. Grant and David P. Kimball an everlasting salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God, worlds without end.” - President Faust
- “fortune and glory”
- We’re part of something. Ephesians 2:19 - Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
- 4th of July - what does citizenship mean?
- “Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder.” - George Washington in “Hamilton”
- Citizen of the family of God
- “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. . . . So often, your acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and small but deliberate deeds!” - Spencer W. Kimball
- King Benjamin - 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.
- Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. - Alma 37:6
- Youth goal of smiling - “Make someone else smile everyday”
- Chaos theory - “A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.”
- Storms: big things that need more than a smile
- iwasastranger.lds.org - Refugees
- Missionary work
- Elder Patrick Kearon, “Refuge from the Storm” (April 2016 General Conference) - “The Lord has instructed us that the stakes of Zion are to be ‘a defense’ and ‘a refuge from the storm.’ We have found refuge. Let us come out from our safe places and share with them, from our abundance, hope for a brighter future, faith in God and in our fellowman, and love that sees beyond cultural and ideological differences to the glorious truth that we are all children of our Heavenly Father.”
- Story in conference about ship in storm and not waiting.
- We must not delay & we must not give up because “how great shall be your joy”
- Good Samaritan
- Luke 10 - Love thy neighbor as thyself. Who is my neighbor?
- Jewish Priest, Levite, Samaritan
- Compassion, ministered at the place, paid for the inn
- Other scriptures
- Matthew 25:35-36 - For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
- James 1:27 - Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
- D&C 38:35 - And they shall look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have commanded them;
“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"
The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."
"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.
To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"
At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
"It made a difference for that one.”