Service and The Book of Mormon – Scripture Chain

I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I love studying it because I learn so many truths of the gospel. One of the principles we learn about in the book of Mormon is Service.

Service - Our Gift

So…Here’s a good Book of Mormon Service Scripture Chain…study it and enjoy!

“And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God.” – Alma 42:4

I have started with this scripture because it is a reminder of why we are on earth – living in this mortal state. We are supposed to repent and serve God. I have actually noticed that most of the time service is mentioned in the Book of Mormon it refers to serving God. Really, is there anything better for us to do?

“And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.

And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.” – Mosiah 4:11-13, 16

I love this scripture. It teaches us the progression of service and commitment to God.

Know God → Receive a Remission of Sins → Feel Joy and God’s Love → Remember His Greatness → Pray Always → Stand Steadfast in Faith → Rejoice → Always be filled with His love → Grow in Knowledge of God and that Which is Just and True → Live peaceably → Succor those who Stand in Need of It

I guess I love noticing this pattern because it teaches me how best to serve others – Service to others is more than something we do once or twice. It is a way of being. It comes as we know God and experience His pure love. We aren’t expected to be charitable in and of ourselves. The Lord knows that we are imperfect people. Instead, we can come unto Him, know Him, and then a natural outpouring of the love we feel from Him will be a love for Him and all of our brothers and sisters.

“Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?” – Mosiah 18:10

Once we have decided that we want the pattern to apply in our lives – of knowing God, being filled with His love, and then sharing it with others, then we ought to be baptized. We can stand as a witness that we have covenanted with Him.

Our part of the covenant: serve Him and keep His commandments.

His part of the covenant: We receive more of His Spirit.

I love this! And think about this in terms of service – if we are filled with the Spirit of the Lord, then we can be better Servants. We can be guided on whom, how, and when we should serve others.

Has this ever happened to you? I have experienced the receiving end of this. One of my best friends began as my visiting teacher. She wanted to do what is right, but was bound by a husband in school, a young boy, one car, etc. I know that it was hard to serve.

When I had a baby she wasn’t able to come by, neither was she able to cook a meal or serve in any way. To be honest, I didn’t even notice it. My mom was in town for about 3 weeks, so I had all the help I really needed.

About a month and a half after having the baby, I was trying to get back into the swing of things. I had two children 17 months apart. I felt a little overwhelmed. Plus, my husband (at that time) was in school and working full time. He was home for maybe fifteen minutes a day. It was a difficult and lonely time for me.

One particularly lonely and difficult day, I heard a knock on my door. I wasn’t expecting anyone, but was surprised to see my visiting teacher – Kara. She had a meal, and was apologizing profusely. She had meant to bring it earlier, and then had the thought she should bring it that day.

I told her not to apologize. The timing was perfect. I know that the Spirit whispered to her that day, to come by, bring a meal, and be a friendly face during a time when I was lonely and struggling. I know that the Spirit can best guide our efforts to both serve God and others.

“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.” – Mosiah 2:17

This is probably the most famous and classic scripture on service. For good reason, too. In some ways, it is difficult to serve God. I mean, He’s God. For example, it was my dad’s birthday last week, and I had the toughest time thinking of what I could get him for his birthday. He doesn’t really want much, and I don’t think that there is anything I can get him that he doesn’t already have. There is no service I can offer him that he can’t do himself. And there is nothing I can do to make up for the lifetime of sacrifices and blessings he has given me. So, I feel like the best way to “repay” my dad is to be grateful and to be the kind of parent to my children that he was to me.

I feel like this is the same with Heavenly Father. There is nothing that we can really do for Him. So, instead of trying to serve Him exclusively, we serve others. We serve His children. We bear testimony of His love to others through our actions.

Back to the example I gave about Kara. When I think of what she did for me, not only was I grateful to her, but still – even now – I am grateful to Heavenly Father. It is through her love for me that I feel the Love of God. I sincerely hope that when I serve others they realize that God loves them.

” And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.” – Mosiah 4:26-27

A last scripture on service. When we serve, we need to do all we can – but we do it in wisdom and in order. It is good to have this reminder. The Lord doesn’t expect us to bankrupt ourselves in order to serve others. We still need to be self-sufficient. We need to be able to finish the race. We need to be smart and diligent.

I love this scripture – especially as a mother. There are times when I feel like I’m running ragged. It is good to remember that if I don’t pace myself then there will be a point when I can’t serve at all. What good will I be if I can no longer serve – physically, emotionally, or spiritually. It is important to follow the Spirit. I feel like there are times when we must sacrifice to serve. When we do, the Spirit seems to strengthen and nourish us. There are other times when the sacrifice is not wise. Those experiences leave us feeling exhausted and we become useless. We need to be wise.

***
How does the Book of Mormon teach you to serve? What are ways that you are able to apply these teachings to your life?

See more posts on the Book of Mormon at Jocelyn’s Blog

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2 Comments

  1. Jocelyn

     /  February 20, 2012

    Awesome insights about service here. I love the parallels about getting gifts for your father and you Heavenly Father!! Very nice.

    Reply
  2. Lisa S

     /  April 21, 2012

    First thank you for your diligent study of the scriptures and the sharing of your testimony. I am the RS Pres. in my ward. We are having a VT conference next Sunday and I know in my heart what I want to say, but to articulate it is just difficult. I will be sharing my thoughts and feelings about service and VT based on your thoughts on this post, especially the scripture references. Thank you

    Reply

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