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Our Call to Serve and Be Served

By Jacqueline N. Smith

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    One summer my entire family caught a nasty flu virus. Both of my parents and all three of my siblings were confined to their beds, too achy and feverish to even move. I alone escaped the illness. So I took on all the cooking, cleaning, and caring for my miserable family members.

    Until, a few days later it got me too.

    Somehow word got out that no one in our family was well enough to cook or shop for groceries. Our house was suddenly inundated with food from many of the Relief Society sisters in our ward.

    Sister Thompson was particularly zealous in her service. She brought breakfast on Monday, lunch on Tuesday, and dinner on both Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday evening, just after Sister Thompson had left her chicken noodle soup and dinner rolls in the kitchen, I heard another knock at the door. There stood Sister Williams, with a pot of chili and a basket of cornbread.

    She asked me if my family had eaten yet as she curiously eyed the food on the table behind me. I told her no, we hadn’t eaten yet, but Sister Thompson had just brought us dinner.

    “She has been bringing you food all week, hasn’t she?” Sister Williams asked.

    “Yes, she has,” I replied. “We’ve definitely had plenty of food.”

    Sister Williams frowned and placed her hands on her hips. “Well, next time you see Sister Thompson, you tell her to take a break and let the rest of us share the blessings too!”

    Her conviction brought a smile to my face. I was humbled by the compassionate efforts that had been made to help our family, and since then I have been able to truly appreciate the dual meaning behind that phrase, “share the blessings.”

    When we serve others, we share the blessings we have been given by our Heavenly Father. When we humbly and gratefully allow others to serve us, they can share in the heavenly blessings that the Lord has promised to those who love and serve one another.

    Whether you’re giving love (and food!) or receiving it, these incredible blessings—and many more—can be ours for the sharing.