Michele's Journal: Serving by the Spirit

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This journal entry was written by Michele at the beginning of her fourth week studying Act in Doctrine, a new book written by Elder David Bednar.

As I have read Act in Doctrine, I have felt pretty confident in the way I am keeping the commandments. Service, however, has been constantly on my mind. I know that I need to improve and serve people always. In last week’s video, I explained a chart that I made where I write an act of service that I do each day. This was mainly to push me to serve and to remember to think of others more, but I’ve found that instead of specific acts of service each day has become more focused on a significant person. When I say my prayers in the morning or when I have time to study, I think through my day and the people that I’ll see. Usually a person pops into my head and then when I see them, I try to really talk to them and to really listen to how they are and to make them feel special in any way. This seems to me like a bigger act of service than making someone cookies or dinner or whatever. Sure acts like that are necessary sometimes, but I think it’s more Christlike to really show love to someone and care about their life. I don’t know if I’ve made a difference yet and I’m definitely not perfect, but it’s strengthening my relationships with others a lot.

Elder Bednar writes about teaching by the Spirit. He says, “This work is never about me and it is never about you. We need to do all in our power to fulfill our teaching responsibilities and simultaneously ‘get out of the way’ so the Holy Ghost can perform His sacred work. In fact, anything you or I do as representatives of the Savior that knowingly and intentionally draws attention to self—in the messages we present, in the methods we use, or in our personal demeanor—is a form of priestcraft that inhibits the teaching effectiveness of the Holy Ghost.”

Although this statement is not about service, I like to look at it in that way. As I’m trying to show other people more love and concern, am I “getting out of the way” and letting the spirit communicate love for them or am I making it about how kind and great I am? No one will ever feel my love if it’s all about me and if it isn’t genuine. I don’t know exactly how to get out of the way, but I’m going to pray for more charity and love and then try to listen to the Spirit when thinking of who to serve. I also am going to try to listen to the Spirit in my conversations with everyone. If I can pay attention to them and the things the Spirit is communicating, then I can hopefully convey the message the spirit wants me to convey to them. I’m sure I have much more to learn to get there, but I’ve got to start somewhere!

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