As members of the LDS Church, we are a service-oriented people. We give service in the church through our callings. We serve members through prepared meals for the sick, helping a new family move or helping the widows with their yard work. We also serve in our communities in various ways including feeding the homeless and aiding victims of natural disasters.
The scriptures teach us, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). It is through service that we magnify God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. It is through service that we become more like the Savior. Throughout his ministry he served the people.
Rendering service can be a powerful tool in missionary work. We had a fireside with the mission president in our area, where he reiterated that sentiment. He taught that the best thing that we can do as member missionaries is to serve others. He reminded us that our service doesn't have to be something grand; it can be smalls acts of kindness.
Looking at missionary work as service opportunities can reduce the fear in sharing the gospel, can make it fun and allow members to use their creativity.
It reduces the fear because it eliminates those three major fears discussed in a previous column. The fear of not knowing what to say, losing a friend or being ostracized are pretty much eliminated. If you see a need, try to fill it. It's that simple.
The creativity and fun can come into play as you try to come up with ways to perform service as a family, with young children, with a tight schedule or on a limited budget. Service doesn't always have to mean opening your wallet; neither does it have to be limited to adults or those without a job. All it takes is a willingness and desire to serve.
As we serve our friends and neighbors, they will naturally want to know more about us. This is what led a friend of mine to the church. He saw these two young men in his neighborhood mowing a neighbor's lawn and offering assistance to anyone else who needed it. He was so impressed with these two young men that he called them over to learn more about them. These two young men were missionaries, and their charitable example led to my friend's baptism.
Service will often lead to opportunities to bear our testimony of the restored gospel. It will help us to prepare and soften hearts. It can give us a platform to correct any inaccurate perceptions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Let each of us "be the means of doing much good among in this generation" by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through service (Doctrine and Covenants 6:8).