Monday, January 14, 2013

Giving in Life

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
I've been contemplating this principle since a talk given in church a while ago.  One specific point he brought up is the classic idea that we shouldn't cast blame on the teacher for not getting anything out of a class.  "What do I get?" is the wrong question, the wrong perspective.  We should have the perspective of "What do I give?".  It is amazing how much we grow when we aren't seeking our own growth but those around us.  In my studies recently I've come across this principle regarding multiple topics.

Regarding this topic, Marion G Romney said

We lose our life by serving and lifting others. By so doing we experience the only true and lasting happiness. Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made.
Knowing that service is what gives our Father in Heaven fulfillment, and knowing that we want to be where He is and as He is, why must we be commanded to serve one another? Oh, for the glorious day when these things all come naturally because of the purity of our hearts. In that day there will be no need for a commandment because we will have experienced for ourselves that we are truly happy only when we are engaged in unselfish service.
Below are quotes that explore this concept applied to specific principles.

President Gordon B. Hinckley explained: “As we look with love and gratitude to God, and as we serve others with no apparent recompense for ourselves, there will come a greater sense of service toward our fellow human beings, less thinking of self and more reaching out to others. This principle of love is the basic essence of goodness” ( Standing for Something, 9).
I have thought of this often and have reached the conviction that in a strange way those who have are actually dependent upon those who have not. Something spiritual happens to a person when he reaches out to help someone else.
As givers gain control of their desires and properly see other needs in light of their own wants, then the powers of the gospel are released in their lives. They learn that by living the great law of consecration they insure not only temporal salvation but also spiritual sanctification

It is not only important for the growth of the members involved to exercise their own claims on God for assurance about the direction of the kingdom, but it is also important for followers to prepare themselves to follow in such a way that their influence could be much more helpful to the leaders in reaching shared goals. Not only do followers who proceed, as Brigham Young said, "with a reckless confidence" fail to develop themselves in their own power and resources, but also they deprive the leaders of the kind of support they deserve and need at times from followers who are themselves developing the skills required. The 58th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants indicates that the Lord expects members of the Church to accomplish much on their own without incessant institutional insistence or prodding. It is neither realistic nor wise to expect leaders to provide all of the answers all of the time, to provide solutions to all of the problems that will arise. This would require leaders to be omniscient; further, it would require of them the kind of sustained energy and time which is simply not humanly possible to give over protracted periods of time.

Love and Marriage

The teachings of Christ suggest that we should begin our search for an eternal companion with greater concern about our ability to give love than about our need to receive it. Of the Savior, John wrote: "We love him, because he first loved us"
Indeed, it may be our own capacity to give love that makes us most lovable. The greater our own personal substance is and the deeper our own mental, emotional, and spiritual reserves are, the greater will be our capacity to nurture and love others, especially our companion.


In today's world, it is common to measure one's personal growth by ever-greater positions of responsibility in the workplace or by pay raises that signal increasing personal accomplishment. We often look at visible positions of responsibility as an indication that a person is an important contributor. It is not surprising then that many people struggle to know how best to measure their growth in spiritual matters.
I have heard many Latter-day Saints question their own standing because they have not been called to leadership positions in the Church. But is our progress properly measured by leadership callings?
In fact, leadership does not require a calling. Some people who exert the uplifting and encouraging influence that constitutes true leadership do so with no calling or position
Leadership callings are much like training wheels on a bicycle. The training wheels allow a child to learn how to balance and ride with confidence. A leadership calling puts people in a position to learn how to love, be patient, and persuade through pure knowledge and kindness. They may also learn that any attempt to compel behavior is accompanied by withdrawal of the Spirit and decreased effectiveness.
After our release, we will find out if we have grown and learned while in our calling. Have we learned to love and serve others without the calling being the impetus? Have we learned to serve with power as an influence for good simply because of who we have become?