Lose yourself in service
A few years ago I read an article written by Jack McConnell, M.D. He grew up in the hills of southwest Virginia in the United States as one of seven children of a Methodist minister and a stay-at-home mother. Their circumstances were very humble. He recounted that during his childhood, every day as the family sat around the dinner table, his father would ask each one in turn, "And what did you do for someone today?" The children were determined to do a good turn every day so they could report to their father that they had helped someone. Dr. McConnell calls this exercise his father's most valuable legacy, for that expectation and those words inspired him and his siblings to help others throughout their lives. As they grew and matured, their motivation for providing service changed to an inner desire to help others.
Besides Dr. McConnell's distinguished medical career — where he directed the development of the tuberculosis tine test, participated in the early development of the polio vaccine, supervised the development of Tylenol, and was instrumental in developing the magnetic resonance imaging procedure, or MRI — he created an organization he calls Volunteers in Medicine, which gives retired medical personnel a chance to volunteer at free clinics serving the working uninsured. Dr. McConnell said his leisure time since he retired has "evaporated into 60-hour weeks of unpaid work, but [his] energy level has increased and there is a satisfaction in [his] life that wasn't there before." He made this statement: "In one of those paradoxes of life, I have benefited more from Volunteers in Medicine than my patients have." There are now over 70 such clinics across the United States.
Of course, we can't all be Dr. McConnells, establishing medical clinics to help the poor; however, the needs of others are ever present, and each of us can do something to help someone. …
The Savior taught His disciples, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."
I believe 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.
— "What Have I Done for Someone Today?" Ensign, November 2009, pp. 84–87
Dealing with change
Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. ...
Throughout our lives, we must deal with change. Some changes are welcome; some are not. There are changes in our lives which are sudden, such as the unexpected passing of a loved one, an unforeseen illness, the loss of a possession we treasure. But most of the changes take place subtly and slowly. ...
Time never stands still; it must steadily march on, and with the marching come the changes.
This is our one and only chance at mortal life — here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey — now. ...
My brothers and sisters, there is no tomorrow to remember if we don't do something today.
— "Finding Joy in the Journey," Ensign, November 2008, pp. 84-87
The search for Jesus
In this marvelous dispensation of the fullness of times, our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved. …
Fortunately, the privilege to serve others can come to each of us. … Every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the waters of baptism, has covenanted to stand as a witness of God "at all times and in all things, and in all places" and has expressed a willingness to "bear one another's burdens, that they might be light" (Mosiah 18:8–9).
By fulfilling this covenant in our lives, we will become acquainted with Him who declared, "Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world" (3 Nephi 11:10). This is the Jesus whom we seek. This is our brother whom we love. This is Christ the Lord, whom we serve. I testify that He lives, for I speak as one who has found Him.
— "The Search for Jesus," Ensign, December 1990, p. 2