In “For Him” by Sister Joy D. Jones, she starts off with a great story that many of us can relate to. She was asked to do something so she went and did it. Only it didn’t go as expected. So she tried again. Again, it failed. It took a lot tries and eventually, she asked why am I even doing this? Something we can totally relate with, right? She didn’t stop there though. She refocused, prayed, and found her spiritual vision to finally make her service a success no matter the outcome. What a great example!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recommends the following for this talk:
“Consider sharing the story at the beginning of Sister Jones’s message and asking members to think about times when their service and ministering efforts may have seemed ‘unnoticed or … unappreciated or even unwanted.’ After discussing the story, consider writing on the board Why should we serve? Invite members to answer this question by reviewing the rest of Sister Jones’s message, looking for insights (see also Doctrine and Covenants 59:5). How can Sister Jones’s counsel change the way we care for and minister to each other?“
Questions to Ponder
Why is being willing to serve not enough for success? What else do we need?
What is the danger of serving with a selfish motive? What good can still come from it?
What can you learn from the story of Sister Jones and her husband to incorporate into your own ministering?
Have you encountered rejection as a result of service? What can we do so we don’t become weary in well doing as a result?
What does loving God with all your heart, might, mind and strength really mean? What does that look like, feel like? How does it affect ministering?
If the highest manifestation of love is devotion to God, what can we do to get there?
Does knowing the who and why of serving change the what and how?
Does serving out of obligation still serve a purpose?
What experiences have you had of “everything falling into place” as a result of putting God first?
How does the sacrament help us in our obligation to love and serve God first?
“Can performing even a menial task become an opportunity to demonstrate our love and devotion to Him?” How? What does that look like?
“What is the greatest need in the world?” How has coming to know the Lord made a difference in your life?
How does your relationship with the Lord deepen through service?
Are you lacking spiritual vision as you do your calling calling or ministering? If so, how can you gain spiritual vision?
Have you ever asked, “Why are we doing this? What is our purpose?” like Brother and Sister Jones did? How did you discover your answer? What did you change?
Are you in position where you have been asked to do something that frightens you, is becoming wearying, or isn’t appealing to you right now? What are you doing about it? Are you being an Laman and Lemuel or a Nephi?
What comfort and support can you gain as you remember “Ye are only in the service of your God”?
How do you feel service builds a better relationship with our Heavenly Father?
How does loving God help us serve more and love better?
How has relying on the Lord helped you serve and keep going in the face of rejection?
How does this kind of service go beyond the typical service project?
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
Ask class members to share experiences of rejection to their acts of service or when they felt it didn’t matter. Why didn’t you stop serving after that? Did any of your first rejections eventually become successes? How? Consider relating the story from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s easy to feel that all we do doesn’t matter but it obviously makes a difference whether we realize it or not as long as we keep trying.
Play or have the class sing “Have I Done any Good in the World Today?” (Hymn #223) or watch this music video by Alex Boyé and Carmen Rasmusen Herbert. Ponder the lyrics through the lens of loving the Lord. Does it change anything about how you view service?
Give your class time to ponder and write down at least three specific goals of how to strengthen their relationship with God that week.
Write a big list of menial tasks on the board then brainstorm ideas of how to turn those into ways to glorify Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Have you tried to do this before? What difference did it make? You may want to reference Sister Jones’s quote about how it is possible to change each of these tasks into a way to glorify God. Incorporate this scripture into your discussion and hand out prints for people to remember at home. Or even better yet, bring it to those that can’t attend your lesson.
Bring in some gospel art pictures of Christ serving (you can also print some off from LDS.org). Briefly review these pictures, asking people what attributes they notice in the Savior in each of these stories. What other examples can they think of? How can we further develop these attributes ourselves? How can we apply them to ministering? You could show this quick 20 second video (“Service) of side by side comparisons as well.
Sister Jones quotes Mosiah 2:16, a very familiar scripture to a lot of us. Write this scripture on the board for everyone to read again. Ask people to share their experience with this scripture and what it has meant to them. Draw (keep it simple) their answers on the board (If you don’t want to draw, ask someone else in your class to help you out- it’s a great way to involve more people). After more people have answered, take a step back and examine the scripture again. Did we learn anything new? Then read it together as a class.
Lessons on service are always a great way to tie in #LIGHTtheWORLD. If it’s around Christmas, share the 4 challenges and videos. If it’s after Christmas, ask questions focusing on their experiences. Sister Jones also quotes 3 Nephi 12:16 which talks about sharing shining our lights so it may glorify our Heavenly Father.
Watch and discuss “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?”