During His ministry on the earth, Jesus Christ spent His time serving and helping others. True disciples of Jesus Christ do likewise. The Savior said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).
Those who are baptized covenant to take the name of Jesus Christ upon themselves. The prophet Alma explained this covenant to a group of new converts who wanted to be baptized. He observed that their desire to "come into the fold of God" included a willingness to give meaningful service—to "bear one another's burdens, that they may be light," to "mourn with those that mourn," and to "comfort those that stand in need of comfort" (Mosiah 18:8–9).
The Savior is the best example of service. Even though He came to earth as the Son of God, He humbly served all those around Him. He declared, "I am among you as he that serveth" (Luke 22:27).
The Savior used a parable to teach the importance of service. In the parable, He told of His return to the earth in His glory and of separating the righteous from the wicked. To the righteous in this parable He says: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me" (Matthew 25:34–36).
The righteous, who are puzzled by this declaration, ask: "Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?" (Matthew 25:37–39).
Then the Lord answers, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40).
Opportunities for service to others are limitless. Kind words and deeds can lift burdens and gladden hearts. Sharing the gospel is a great service with eternal consequences. One true key to happiness is to labor for the happiness of others.
—See True to the Faith (2004), 161–62
"The Joy of Service"
Russell C. Taylor, Ensign, Nov. 1984, 23–24
The joy and blessings of service follow the rendering of service.
"President Kimball Speaks Out on Service to Others"
Spencer W. Kimball, New Era, Mar. 1981, 47–49
The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls.
"Small Acts of Service"
Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Dec. 1974, 2–7
When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective.
"Called to Serve"
Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1997, 6–8
The willingness of Latter-day Saints to respond to calls to serve is a representation of their desire to do the will of the Lord.
"A Vision of Service"
V. Dallas Merrell, Ensign, Dec. 1996, 10–15
The principle of service is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ and is best grasped by understanding how God is trying to prepare us for eternal life.
"The Spirituality of Service"
Derek A. Cuthbert, Ensign, May 1990, 12–13
Righteous service brings us nearer to Christ, increases our spirituality, and brings others likewise.
William R. Bradford, Ensign, Nov. 1987, 75–76
The only way under the heavens whereby a person can be sanctified is in selfless service.
"Why Do We Serve?"
Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 1984, 12–15
Service is a covenant obligation of all members of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Guide to the Scriptures
"The Divine Nature of Service"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, Chapter 19
"Loving, Faithful Priesthood Service"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, Chapter 10
"Love and Service"
Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Part A, Lesson 33
"Love, Charity, and Service"
The Latter-day Saint Woman: Part A, Lesson 8
Gospel Principles, Chapter 28
"Service in the Church"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, Chapter 18
"Serving in the Church"
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, Chapter 38