Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Finding Joy Through Loving Service" -- Elder M. Russell Ballard

Elder Ballard begins his talk with a great story:

A man sells all his possessions and heads to California for the Gold Rush because he hears there are huge nuggets of gold in the rivers. However, when he gets there, all he has found is a pile of rocks.

And old prospector walks up and admires the man's pile of rocks, to which the man replies: "There's no gold here, I am going back home."

Just then the old prospector hits two of the man's rocks together to reveal many flecks of gold. But the man was not impressed. He said he wanted to find big nuggets like the old prospector carried in his bulging pouch.

But the old prospector opened his pouch to reveal it was not full of big nuggets, but thousands of tiny flecks of gold. The old prospector said:

"Son, it seems to me you are so busy looking for large nuggets that you're missing filling your pouch with these precious flecks of gold. The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth."

The moral behind the story is that often times we are too busy looking for big opportunities in the world, when we really should be taking advantage of every small opportunity that comes across.

This talk is specifically referring to service.

Before Christ's crucifixion, He told His apostles:

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another as I have loved you...

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Jesus was saying to them that the people should just be able to know by their giving of service that they are followers of Christ. How powerful is that! On the flip side, if they were being slothful and lazy, the people could say, "They must be the wrong people -- they are not followers of Christ."

I just began my new job as a receptionist at an optometrist office. The ladies there told me that their worst patient is a man who is a Stake President. How upsetting is that! One of the ladies who works there is not a member of the church and had to say, "Wait a second -- he is a leader in your church? How can that be? He is so rude and self-centered." They said that the optometrist, Dr. Bird (who is an amazing church member) wrote a parable about the inconsiderate Stake President and the sweet and caring Kendall (who is also a patient and is not a member of the church). The essence of the story was, that is a person is judged by the way they treat others, not by the titles they hold, or even just their church membership.

I wonder if people saw me, if they would see a disciple of Christ -- or just another college kid. We have to really grow -- and also show -- our love for Jesus Christ through our service and the way we treat others.

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