This is it. No more flying under the radar. My turn to talk! And...who came to sacrament meeting today? The Stake Presidency, and Bishop Wood and his wife, coincidence? Wow. No Pressure! It was good to prepare, but I breathe a huge sigh of relief now. Hope I don't get called for a couple of years, LOL. Hope you enjoy reading.
Good morning. Its been a long time since I've been up here on the pulpit. "According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two! Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy"- Jerry Seinfeld
There are some out there that don't know me, so let me introduce myself. I'm Cindy. Some words to describe me are friend, sister, listener, patient, a learner, a reader, fun, procrastinator, native capricorn, student, orphan, Daughter of God. I have a mantra. For those that wonder what a mantra is, its a phrase or motto you live by. Mine is from President Hinckley. "You are doing the best you can, and that best results in doing good to yourself and others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord; then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do."
My mantra ties in with my topic that is close to my heart, service. Did you get an opportunity to serve on Monday? It was Martin Luther Kind Day, a national day of service. I love good quotes. One that I shared this week came from Dr. King "Everybody can be great..because anybody can serve. You don't need a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." Why do we serve? It makes us feel good. But I like to think of the sacrament. " That they do always remember him, that they may have His spirit to be with them." We may have His spirit with us when we serve. It doesn't take much to serve. I'm pretty sure we have all said one time or another, I would like to,, but I don't have time. Too busy with the family....there is so much to do!
Service can be great or small but it all counts.
President Monson shared a story from the 1989 Oct General Conference. He shares: "While driving to the office one morning, I passed a dry cleaning establishment, which had a sign by the side of the front door. It read, "Its the service that counts". I suppose in a highly competitve field such as the dry cleaning business and many others, the differentiating factor which distinguishes one store from another, is , in fact service. The message from the small sign simply would not leave my mind. Suddenly, I realized why. In actual fact it IS the service that counts- the Lord's service."
Someone I think about in the Book of Mormon is King Benjamin. How respected he was that multitudes of people came and pitched their tents around the temple to hear him. He recounted his desire to serve his people and lead them in paths of righteousness. In Mosiah 2:16-17 it reads
"Behold I say unto you that because I said that I had spent my days in your service, I do not
desire to boast, for I have only been in service of God. 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."
" Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need? Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad? If not, I have failed indeed."
As it is important to serve, it is important to allow people to serve you. When I was taking care of my mother, I was juggling so many things. And during that time, I was known to say I'm fine..I'm ok...I've got this, I don't need help. But there was a time that I realized finally that I needed help. It was here that I had the help of so many ward members during that difficult time for me. While I was insisting that I was ok, is when I really wasn't. At the same time while I was denying the service of those around me..in a way, I was denying people the blessings they would receive by serving others. So remember that next time, when someone offers to help. ..Say yes!
Its ok! You don't need to conquer your problems on your own. And when we are asking for blessings of help through personal trials, well maybe the Lord put these people in place for a reason.
I've discovered that I really enjoy blogging. If you don't know what a blog is, its basically an online journal. Which is really funny because I am terrible about keeping a journal. Anyway, there is a story that I will share with you. 'Someone I wish that I got a picture of was of me and Judy Steed. I loved Judy so much. I wrote an earlier post about laughing, I do admit, it started at her house. Judy had offered to help me to do homeade highlights, not neccessarily homeade, but out of a box and at home. Judy was such a popular person. I got there, and she continually got phone calls from Anthony , Brooke and Cher. Then Saundra had come by. Meanwhile I'm sitting there with Judy at the kitchen table with a cap on my head. As she continues to pluck strands of my hair while all of the commotion is going on...its Christmastime, and my mother passed away a little over a month ago. We started at 11 am. It was now 5 pm. And we weren't done! And I said to her..."umm Judy?" I need to go to the Nativity. I'll go now, and I will just wear one of my mom's hats. And I did. I don't usually wear hats because they usually don't fit my big head. But, this one did, and it covered up my dreadlocks. I'm laughing so hard, I was crying. So, I come home to my house, with the hat on. My neighbors are standing outside chit chatting. They say hi..and look at my hat. "What a cute hat Cindy, I've never seen you in a hat. I whip off my hat which shows my dreadlocks, not to mention the highlighting goo in my hair.!
Their expressions were priceless.
Judy didn't know it at the time, but she helped me so much that Christmas. I was so numb and I felt lost. It was there in her home that I felt joy. Even as ridiculous as that was. Judy was always serving. It was just something you did. The title of my blog is As My World Turns, finding joy in my journey. And that day, Judy's act of service, even though how little it seemed to her, was the first step to finding joy.
"Has anyone's burden been lighter today. Because I was willing to share? Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way? When they needed my help was I there?"
In John 21:15 it says "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou more than these? Yea Lord; thou knowest I love thee." Then, the Savior taught a lesson to all of us through Peter. "Feed my lambs" He repeated two more times with a change "Feed my sheep." Robert D. Hales explained this in his book Return- "What do the references to lambs and sheep mean? Feeding the lambs can be taken to mean serving those who are new to the gospel, such as newly baptized members, who must be nurtured and given warmth and fellowship in the family of saints. It may also remind us that we are all called to teach and lead the youngest members of the church- the children. Feeding the sheep may refer to serving the long-time members of church, some less active, who need to be loved and safe guarded in the flock through individual ministering, including home and visiting teaching. The Savior's inclusion of both lambs and sheep suggests that our responsibility is to feed everyone."
President Monson had asked us the following-"How many times has your heart been touched as you witnessed the need of another. How ofen have you intended to be the one to help, and yet how often has day to day living interfered and you left it for others to help?"
We are the Lord's hands. When we serve, we are not only blessing those who are in need. We are blessing our own lives when we serve. As a nurse, I get to serve everyday. It gives me joy as I serve others. Its funny, as much as it petrifies me to speak to hundreds of people, I really love to talk one on one. I take the time to listen to my patients concerns or complaints and reassure the best I know how.
"Never lose faith in your opportunity to lift those who are in need, to give strength to those who are weak, to give encouragement to those who falter by the way."- President Hinckley
It is my testimony that as we strive to serve others, whether it be as simple as a phone call or
visit, that we will receive blessings as we do so. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.