The second great commandment is to love one another, which requires we serve one another. We cannot love without serving. Service, and how to do it, can be elusive at times. I have read through the Conference talk referenced below and extracted 20 questions to help with the discussion on the topic. To answer them honestly, and carefully, will take some studying of the talk and some introspection.
The questions come from a talk given in the October 2017 General Conference by Bonnie L. Oscarson. The title of the talk is The Needs before Us. The link in this paragraph will take you to the talk itself.
The questions were written in the order of the text presented in the talk. Some of the questions were ones that popped into my head as I read the talk. Some of the questions contain their basic answers in the text itself, while others are personal and will require introspection and consideration on the part of the person answering it.
I suggest you print this list and refer to the questions as you read the article. This will help you know where the question came from and what Sister Oscarson is talking about when the question came up. The link at the bottom of the article will give you a PDF file you can print.
1. As you go through your day can you identify times when it would be helpful to others if you put down your phone and looked at people instead?
2. What might we see or perceive if we look less at our electronics and start watching people more often, whether at home or in public?
3. What is the difference in how we connect with others when we are looking into their eyes as they talk, vs. only seeing text on a screen? What is the value of that connection?
4. Is there a benefit to us if we contribute to relief of others half a world a way that is greater than the benefit we receive by serving our neighbor? Which act of service has the greater chance of softening our heart and enlarging our understanding of the second great commandment?
5. “Heavenly Father may have placed those who need us closest to us, knowing that we are best suited to meet their needs.” How might being next to the person who needs us help us better meet their needs? Is this kind of close, personal service usually as simple as a handout or is it more complicated than that?
6. President James E. Faust said: “Serving others can begin at almost any age. … It need not be on a grand scale, and it is noblest within the family.” What makes service within the family more noble than service outside the family? Does your relationship with those whom you serve in your family have anything to do with the nobility involved?
7. What are some of the differences between serving a stranger and serving a family member or a neighbor? Is there a difference in the quality of service one usually has to provide to a family member that may not be required in order to serve a stranger?
8. Why does the Lord want us to congregate and worship together?
9. What opportunities are there for our personal growth in gathering together as Saints of God? Is being together all about what I can get out of the assembly or is it just as much about what I can give to others who come to worship?
10. What makes a ward like a family when it comes to seeking to do Christlike service? What does service have to do with the concept of becoming united, a Zionlike people?
11. If how we should be learning to serve can be learned by a pattern of service learned in the home then what kind of service should we be experiencing in our ward family?
12. Is there a need to change our level of social intimacy in our ward family? Can we truly perform Christlike service to those in our ward with the same level of social intimacy we currently experience?
13. Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, “We are the eyes, hands, head, feet, and other members of the body of Christ.” Do the parts of the body operate in any way independently of all other parts of the body? How do the parts of the body rely on the help provided by the rest of the other parts of the body? Examples?
14. In your opinion, is Christlike service quick and easy or does it require that which is often inconvenient and unconventional to accomplish?
15. Do you think service is or should be easy most of the time?
16. Does godly service usually have a start and stop or beginning and ending to the service? Why or why not?
17. Does the Lord expect us to serve great crowds or just one person? What do the Apostles say about their calling to serve? (They tell us that though they speak to hundreds and thousands at a time, they are always looking for the one person the Lord wants them to help.)
18. What does it take for us to become aware of others around us? Does it require a change in attitude or just a change in behavior?
19. What part might the Spirit have in helping us be “aware” of others?
20. How does paying a more generous Fast Offering help us serve in the greater community of mankind?
Our growth is largely dependent on our ability to serve in a Christlike manner. Service is not always easy, and is rarely convenient. Service pulls us out of ourselves and helps us focus on the needs of others. Yet for all that change in focus, it is that very service to others that teaches us the most about ourselves and how to greater appreciate what the Savior has done for us.
Click the link below to
print a PDF copy of the file.