Suzann Darnall

I did not get around to writing a WoolyMammoth.Org posting last week because my husband and I were busy assembling a steel storage shed for our daughter's use. I apologize to our readers, but hope all y'all understand that sometimes service and family take precedence.

Sometimes service is a big thing like moving furniture or building a shed. Sometimes it is little things like giving kids a ride to Austin for a birthday party or taking a "dessert party" over to share with an elderly friend. Sometimes it is a two-year commitment like going out on a mission. Sometimes it is a decades long career while serving in one of the armed forces. Sometimes it is temporal like mowing someone's lawn. Sometimes it is spiritual like saying a prayer for a sick friend. But, big or small, all are worth doing.

One of my favorite verses from the Gospel is:

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
I think it is important that we remember that serving one another is a way to love one another. I feel one of the greatest problems in the world today is a lack of service to one another, which I believe leads to a lack of love one to another.

We can see this lack of love everywhere we look. One driver unwilling to let another car easily merge into traffic. A customer being rude to a clerk at the checkout line because an item hasn't got a price tag. A mother dragging a child through the store by the arm when the little one can't keep up. A husband sending his wife to the ER with a bruised and battered face because he thought dinner wasn't on the table in a timely manner. One teenager shooting another because they live in different neighborhoods and belong to rival gangs. Religious extremists declaring war on most of the rest of the world because they refuse to acknowledge any version of "god" but their own.

If these people thought more about service, love and God, while forgetting about self, hate, and retribution . . . wouldn't the world be a much happier place? I know we cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves and perhaps our little corner of it. We can start with heart and hearth. Nurture kindly feelings within ourselves and within the four walls of our own home. Just as charity begins at home, so should service and love.

One of the easiest steps to take towards serving one another is to show respect. To practice etiquette. Be polite. I don't mean like Emily Post and which fork to use with the shrimp . . . I mean good manners and common sense. Although, knowing proper table manners never really hurt anyone.

If we practice being kind and doing service at home, how can that not spread to our behavior outside the home? It will become second nature to do nice things for others. And, maybe it will also be contagious . . . like yawning and smiling. Certainly can't hurt to try, can it?

I probably can never do a big service to our Lord, but I can do lots of small things for my fellow beings. I can feed a family pet, hug a crying grandchild, do laundry for my hardworking husband, take a meal to a sick friend, and many more daily acts of service. Kindnesses that might not be big in the eyes of the world, but make a difference to my family, my friends, myself, and our Heavenly Father.

In closing I wish to share another of my favorite passages from the scriptures:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
© Suzann C. Darnall, JULY 2013

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