“I believe,” said President Thomas S. Monson, “the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”1
In the following excerpts from President Monson’s ministry, he reminds Latter-day Saints that they are the Lord’s hands and that the blessings of eternity await those who faithfully serve others.
“Great service is given when we perform vicarious ordinances for those who have gone beyond the veil. In many cases we do not know those for whom we perform the work. We expect no thanks, nor do we have the assurance that they will accept that which we offer. However, we serve, and in that process we attain that which comes of no other effort: we literally become saviors on Mount Zion. As our Savior gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for us, so we, in some small measure, do the same when we perform proxy work in the temple for those who have no means of moving forward unless something is done for them by those of us here on the earth.”2
“My brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us. …
“That service to which all of us have been called is the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.”3
“In the New World, the resurrected Lord declared, ‘Ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do’ [3 Nephi 27:21].
“We bless others as we serve in the shadow of ‘Jesus of Nazareth … who went about doing good’ [Acts 10:38]. God bless us to find joy in serving our Father in Heaven as we serve His children on earth.”4
“We need to be given a chance to serve. For those members who have slipped from activity or who hold back and remain noncommittal, we can prayerfully seek for some way to reach them. Asking them to serve in some capacity may just be the incentive they need to return to full activity. But those leaders who could help in this regard are sometimes reluctant to do so. We need to bear in mind that people can change. They can put behind them bad habits. They can repent from transgressions. They can bear the priesthood worthily. And they can serve the Lord diligently.”5
“The world is in need of our help. Are we doing all we should? Do we remember the words of President John Taylor: ‘If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty’? [Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor (2001), 164]. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of … service.”6