“A friend makes it easier for us to live the gospel by being around him. Similarly, a true friend does not make us choose between his way and the Lord’s way. A true friend will help us return with honor.”
—Elder Robert D. Hales, “The Aaronic Priesthood: Return with Honor,” Ensign, May 1990, 40.
Sometimes it’s easy to look past the poverty and problems in your own backyard. That’s what youth from the Roanoke Virginia Stake wanted to avoid when they decided to help out some people right nearby, at the Roanoke Area Rescue Mission, a faith-based homeless shelter, which also runs a separate facility for needy women and their children.
Young men and women from the stake joined in with young adults and a few missionaries to participate in “Clean Sweep Day.” The volunteers did everything from picking up trash off the streets of the neighborhoods surrounding the rescue mission, to serving food, washing dishes, setting tables, refilling water glasses, and emptying the garbage.
Before the youth went to the rescue mission for the service project, they collected sugar and napkins in their various wards and branches for several months. They donated these items to the rescue mission, which serves around 900 people every day.
For these youth, it was a very real example of what King Benjamin taught in the Book of Mormon: “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
Soul: The term soul is used in at least two ways in the scriptures. First, a spirit that is united with a physical body, whether in mortality or after resurrection, is called a soul (see D&C 88:15–16). Second, our spirits are sometimes called souls (see Alma 40:15–18; Abraham 3:23).
Recently, the Young Women organization of the Wilton Ward, Elk Grove California Stake, decided to join forces with the Relief Society sisters in their ward and learn to crochet items for those in need and for patrons of the Sacramento California Temple.
The project helped the young women develop in three different areas: they learned a new skill, they got to know some of the Relief Society sisters better, and some of them even extended the activity into one of their Personal Progress projects.
“I had a lot of fun learning to crochet with my friends,” said Stephany Mayer. “Since then I’ve been able to make gifts for Relief Society sisters and babies in the ward. I have also learned to make other crochet items like sweaters and tablecloths.”
“Called to Serve” (Hymns, no. 249) was the very last song to be put in the 1985 hymnal. At first, it wasn’t scheduled to be included because it was written as a children’s song. Then in April 1985, at a meeting on Temple Square attended by General Authorities, regional representatives, and mission presidents, more than 100 missionaries from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, marched into the Assembly Hall singing this song. The experience was electrifying and secured a place for “Called to Serve” among our best-loved hymns.