The Circle Of A Service Life


One of the advantages of living in the same area for many years is seeing “the circle of a service life”. As a young father of five children I had heavy demands on my time. Between tying to gain an education, making a living and serving in the church, every moment of my time was of a premium. Like many young fathers I was called upon and asked to give of my time often by the church. Most of the responsibilities I was given took me out of the home in service to others. This placed some additional burden on my wife, which she dutifully did without complaint. Occasionally, over the years, I have heard some members of the church complain about the time required of its members, particularly the time required of priesthood leaders. And, there is certainly some merit in that complaint. However, my experience has been that not only does the Lord bless and enhance your ability to time manage, but that he works under a system I mentioned above called “the circle of a service life”.

We all know that the Lord considers that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God”. (Mosiah 2:17) That scripture teaches us that service is a major part of how we show our love for the Lord. That service is not limited to the family, although clearly the family is our most important call. As a young father my ability to connect with the young people of the ward was much greater than it is today. So, I often found myself serving in capacities that were over the youth. My energy level was high back then, and since I was still fairly close to the age of the young men and young women whom I was called upon to serve, I was a good fit for that type of call. Yet, my children were all primary age and it seemed that I was always serving “someone else’s” children at the expense of my own. I also noticed, over the years, that a few members would be happy to serve in a calling as long as that calling included service to one of their children. They were not so willing when it didn’t.

The above thought is riddled with problems, least of which is the unwillingness to serve where the Lord calls us, be it serving in callings with our children or not.  We need to keep in mind, that although we might be called to serve those not of our family, others are serving ours. In my case, at that time in my life,  primary workers were spending time serving my young children. I have also found that service rendered on behalf of others will come back full circle. How so? Well, it didn’t take me long to see, in a personal way, how service rendered comes back in return. It hit closer to home in more ways than I imagined.  I first remember thinking about this concept when I dropped off my oldest son for seminary one morning and noted that his instructor was one of the young men I had taught while serving in the Young Men’s Presidency of the ward. As I drove away that morning I couldn’t help but be thankful that my son was now being taught by someone I knew and had spent time teaching.  As the years went by I saw this pattern again and again. Young men and young women that I had served while a young Father, were now teaching my children and grandchildren. Some now serve as ward leaders and stake leaders. The time I had so diligently given in service to them was now being given back to me and my posterity in a personal way.  It is “the circle of a service life” which not only blesses the lives of those we serve, but also the lives of our own family.

In the end, we give service to others, without “expectation” of something in return. But it is wonderful to know, that living a service oriented life brings with it countless blessings.  It is the grandeur of watching “the circle of a service life”.


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