Two weeks ago I made a friend cry. She is always happy when I see her. She exudes positive energy. So I was surprised when I teased her about forgiveness and she burst into tears.
As I listened to her story, as she told me she was at wits end, not knowing which way to turn. I knew! An inspiration hit me and I called my brother, a lawyer to ask if he could help. As he was talking to her, giving her legal advice, and recommending a couple of people who could help, I had another moment of inspiration. One of the people he was going to recommend wasn’t eligible and I knew before he even said the name.
‘As we minister to others, we become true followers of Jesus Christ, who set the example for us. President Thomas S. Monson said: “We are surrounded by those in need…. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and lift His Children.’”(June 2014 Ensign Magazine)
Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, taught: “With practice, each of us can become more like the Savior as we serve God’s children. To help us better [minister to] one another, I would like to suggest four words to remember: ‘First observe, then serve.’ … As we do so, we are keeping covenants, and our service, like President Monson’s, will be evidence of our discipleship.”
“We can pray each morning to recognize opportunities to serve others. “Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you,” said David L. Beck, Young Men general president. “You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls.”
As the Compassionate service leader in our church ward, I feel like my ears have grown bigger and my eyes brighter. As I look around me and listen to other people’s conversations, (accidently of course since it’s across a crowded room) I know there is someone who could use a little help.
“She’s having surgery on her foot next week”
“Her sister just died and she needs someone who knows what it’s like- to have empathy and comfort her.”
“He’s worried about supporting his family working just three days a week.”
How can prayer lead us to be instruments in the Lord’s hands?
If our home were going to be hit by a tornado we would want to be warned, but what about a prompting that inspires us to call a friend just to say hello? Or a prompting to buy a package of diapers when we don’t have small children. Following such promptings likely won’t lead to dramatic outcomes, but they’re still important.
The friend you call might be having a hard day. A phone call could cheer him up. Or the next-door neighbor may have used her last diaper and be out of gas just as you get home from the store. This happened to another friend and she had to turn around and go back to the store because she had ignored the prompting.
President Monson has taught: “We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. We do not postpone following promptings of the Spirit.”
Sometimes spiritual promptings are urgent. More often, however, they are gentle. Heavenly Father has promised to instruct us “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30)