The ‘Public’ And The ‘Private’ Servant


Recently I heard a politician defend his maleficence ways by saying that he had been a “public servant” for over forty years. His point being that he had served us, the people, and therefore should be given a little “slack.” I would argue with him that not only has he been paid for his services, but he has been paid very handsomely for his time over the years! Somehow, to me, hiding behind the word “servant” seems….detestable! I have seen men of business honored because of their charitable work in the community when, in many cases, they are men seeking advantage in the business market. Many, not all, are driven by selfish reasons, not because of the goodness of their hearts.

In contrast, the members of the church silently go about the Lord’s work with little fanfare. What is it the Savior said:

“But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:3-4)

I have been so impressed by the silent service of our people. I cannot think of a people more prone to serve, without the “left hand knowing what the right is doing.” Countless hours are given by hundreds of thousands of church members, most  of it done with little fanfare or recognition. They stand as a testimony, to me, of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their testimonies compel them to do things above and beyond the “call of duty.” It is a remarkable thing to witness. It is an inspiring thing to be a part of! It is a reflection of the depth of the testimonies that members have of the truthfulness of the gospel of Christ.

No matter what is said about us, this much is undeniable; millions of our people have sacrificed their time, energy and money, gratis, in service to their fellowmen. They do it willingly, and happily! Gordon B. Hinckley once said:

“…the lives of our people must become the most meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship”. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Symbol of Our Faith”, Ensign, Apr. 2005, 2–6). To that I say, “Amen.”

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