The importance of serving others

Jesus said, “I am among you as he that serveth” (Luke 22:27 in the Bible). As true followers of Jesus, we also must serve others.

Importance of Service

Service is helping others who need assistance. Christlike service grows out of genuine love for the Savior and of love and concern for those whom He gives us opportunities and direction to help. Love is more than a feeling. When we love others, we want to help them.

All of us must be willing to serve, no matter what our income, age, or social position. Some people believe that only the poor and lowly should serve. Other people think service should be given only by the rich.

But Jesus taught otherwise. When the mother of two of His disciples asked Him to honor her sons in His kingdom, Jesus replied, “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26–27 in the Bible).

Service Opportunities

There are many ways to serve. We can help others economically, socially, physically, and spiritually. For example, we can share food or other articles with those who need them. We can be a friend to a newcomer. We can care for someone who is sick. We can teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to someone who needs the truth or comfort someone who grieves.

We can do small and large acts of service. We should never fail to help someone because we are unable to do great things. Sometimes however, we must sacrifice greatly to serve someone. The Savior gave up His life in serving us. Think about people in your family or community who are in need economically, socially, physically, or spiritually. Ponder things you can do to serve them. Pray for guidance in serving others.

Husbands and wives serve and help each other. They can help each other take care of the children, and they can support one another in their individual interests and pursuits. A mother and father should love their children and sacrifice as needed to raise, teach, and help them because happy productive adults.

We have many opportunities to serve our neighbors, our friends, and even strangers.

We should look for ways to serve as many of our Heavenly Father’s children as we can.

The Lord Serves Us Though Others

Throughout our lives all of us depend on others for help. When we were infants our parents fed, clothed, and cared for us. Without this care we would have died. When we grew up other people taught us skills and attitudes. Many of us have needed nursing care during illness or money in a financial crisis. Some of us ask God to bless suffering people and then do nothing for them. We must remember that God works through us.

The Blessings of Service

When we help one another we serve God. An ancient prophet taught, “…When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God…” (Mosiah 2: 17 p. 149 in the Book of Mormon)

When we serve others we gain important blessings. Through service we increase our ability to love. We become less selfish. As we think of the problems of others, our own problems seem less serious. We must serve others to gain eternal life. God has said that those who live with Him must love and serve His children (Matthew 25:34–40 in the Bible).

The Savior Set the Perfect Example of Service

He explained that He didn’t come to earth to be served but to serve and to give His life for us. (Matthew 20:28 in the Bible) When He was on earth He served the poor, the ignorant, the sinner, the despised. He taught the gospel to all who would listen, fed crowds of hungry people who came to hear Him, healed the sick, and raised the dead.

He is the Creator of the earth and our Savior, yet He did many humble acts of service. Just before His Crucifixion He met with His disciples. After teaching them, He took a basin of water and a towel and washed their feet (John 13:4–10 in the Bible) In those days washing a visitor’s feet was a sign of honor and was usually done by a servant. Jesus did it as an example of love and service.

When we willingly serve others in the spirit of love, we become more like Jesus Christ.

Gospel Principles p. 161 was used as a reference for some of the article.

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