Service Where It Counts


Serve by doing my job? It seemed too simple. But then I realized how wise the Spirit’s promptings were.

It was time for New Year’s resolutions. I felt the need to focus on helping others and, mindful of inspirational accounts I had read, I set a goal to perform one act of service daily.

Within a week I felt not the joy and happiness I had hoped for but intense frustration. I started each day with good intentions, but by evening I found myself frantically trying to come up with ideas for meaningful service. I was single with no family nearby. There was little opportunity to socialize or be neighborly in my busy apartment complex. And I already served the members of the ward through my callings and visiting teaching assignments.

What should I do? There must be something I was overlooking. I prayed for help and guidance. And it came.

One night, as I climbed the stairs at the public library where I worked, I was infused with the spirit of revelation. “Why are you trying to create ways to serve?” the Spirit quietly asked. “Look around. See how much you can serve right here in the library!”

Serve by doing my job? At first it seemed ridiculous—and too simple a way out of my predicament. But as I pondered, I realized how wise the Spirit’s promptings were. There was a world of difference, I discovered, between merely fulfilling my job description and cheerfully striving for excellence in completing my assignments. Greeting patrons with a smile and taking time to chat, answering questions thoroughly and exploring all possible resources, being more keenly aware of and receptive to the things going on around me—these became my daily acts of service as I tried to show my love for my Heavenly Father and his children.

Too often, when we think of service, we form expectations of unusual, extraordinary activities. But I learned that meaningful, rewarding service can be found anywhere, anytime—service where it makes a difference, service where it counts.

[illustration] Illustrated by Ken Spencer

Ann Woodbury Moore is a member of the Glenville Ward, Albany New York Stake.