Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
Elder Carl B. Cook

There is great power when people work together for a common good, said Elder Carl B. Cook, General Authority Seventy.

“As we unite to serve one another, we accomplish much more together than we could on our own. It is thrilling to be engaged and unified as we serve and assist in the Lord’s work.”

Offering service is one of the great blessings of Church membership. It is a commandment of the Lord.

“As we serve, we draw closer to God,” he said. “We come to know Him in ways that we otherwise might not. Our faith in Him increases. Our problems are put into perspective. Life becomes more satisfying. Our love for others increases, as well as our desire to serve. Through this blessed process, we become more like God, and we are better prepared to return to Him.”

Service can be challenging when one is asked to do something that is frightening, commonplace or perhaps, unappealing. Elder Cook spoke of his own recent assignment to serve at Church headquarters following an exciting assignment in Africa. He was, initially, less than enthusiastic. But after contemplating the change, he had a dream about his great-great-grandfather Joseph Skeen. He knew well his ancestor's proven desire and willingness to follow the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith — even if it meant a lifestyle change.

“I felt a distinct spiritual confirmation that my new assignment was inspired,” Elder Cook said. “It is important that we make that connection — that callings literally come to us from God through our priesthood leaders. After this experience, my attitude changed and I was filled with a deep desire to serve. I am grateful for the blessing of repentance and for my changed heart. I love my new assignment.”

Fulfilling a calling requires faith, he noted.

“Whether we are overwhelmed or underwhelmed, whether we are scared to death or bored to death, the Lord wants us to gear down, power up, and serve.”

Jesus Christ, he concluded, is the Great Exemplar of service.

“Whatever our age or circumstance, let service be our watch cry. Serve in your calling. Serve a mission. Serve your mother. Serve a stranger. Serve your neighbor. Just serve.”

jswensen@deseretnews.com

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