Saturday, September 8, 2012

71 Ways to Serve Someone Today

All around there are opportunities to serve—in your family, among friends, in your community, and with an organization you trust. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Leave your ideas in a comment below.
  1. Deliver meals to the elderly through Meals on Wheels or similar programs
  2. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen
  3. Rake leaves for a neighbor
  4. Clean, shelve or organize books at the public library
  5. Pick up litter along the streets
  6. Teach a second language to an interested learner
  7. Bake cookies for a friend
  8. Share a scripture with someone who's hurting
  9. Give blood through American Red Cross
  10. Plant a tree in the city park
  11. Invite an unemployed friend to a job fair or career workshop
  12. Wash the windows of your dad's car
  13. Post an inspirational thought on Facebook
  14. Teach a merit badge class to Boy Scouts
  15. Donate food to a local food bank
  16. Mow your neighbor's lawn
  17. Pray for someone...and then do what the Spirit tells you to do for that person
  18. Assemble hygiene, newborn or school kits using LDS Humanitarian Center guidelines. While there, check out a veritable smorgasbord of projects you and your family can become involved in today
  19. Visit lonely patients at a nursing home. Share with them, sing with them, laugh with them.
  20. Read with a child
  21. Say "I love you" and really mean it
  22. Do the laundry without being asked
  23. Talk with your mayor or city administrator about current needs in your community. Then go and do
  24. Run a 5k for charity
  25. Help someone move in or out of a new home
  26. Write a poem, paint a picture or sing a song to brighten someone's day
  27. Clean up in the community after a tornado, flood or other natural disaster
  28. People need to talk. Listen to them
  29. Sweep sidewalks or shovel snow
  30. Smile and say "hello" to stranger in the grocery store
  31. Distribute flyers for upcoming community events or fundraisers
  32. Give a handicapped friend a ride to church
  33. Refer a struggling friend to online addiction recovery resources
  34. Send a letter to a friend, serviceman, college student, foreign exchange student, or missionary (please and thank you)
  35. Participate in community, state, national or worldwide days of service
  36. Join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at your child's school
  37. Organize files at an educational institution
  38. Familiarize yourself with political candidates and issues and teach your friends what you learn
  39. Walk your neighbor's dog
  40. Weed your family's garden or a neighborhood garden
  41. Make breakfast in bed for a family member or friend
  42. Sincerely compliment somebody on a job well done
  43. Volunteer as an election judge in your municipality
  44. Keep a journal for future generations to read
  45. As the new year rolls around, buy or make a beautiful calendar for a friend
  46. Share a meaningful talk, sermon or book with a friend
  47. Apologize to someone you've offended
  48. Invite a neighbor to dinner
  49. Sing carols at Christmastime
  50. Give an unexpected, anonymous gift to a neighbor
  51. Take five minutes to call a lonely friend
  52. Improve a nature trail in your area
  53. Play a board game with your brother or sister
  54. Share fruits and vegetables from your garden with a neighbor
  55. Take care of a friend's pets while he or she is on vacation
  56. Find an organization or cause in your area to which you feel comfortable lending support
  57. Treat the lonely and downtrodden the way you would like to be treated—with care and dignity
  58. Be the kind of person others can rely on in their times of need
  59. Prepare a meal for an expecting mother or a tired patient
  60. Teach somebody a skill you've learned
  61. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  62. Rescue an animal from the pound
  63. Be kind to everyone you meet today—even your enemies
  64. Thank a solider for his military service
  65. Welcome a new friend into the neighborhood with a loaf of freshly baked bread
  66. Have a yard sale. Give proceeds to charity
  67. Purchase a book you love for your public library
  68. Host a foreign exchange student or foster child
  69. Donate items to Goodwill, Deseret Industries, Salvation Army and other similar organizations
  70. Volunteer at your child's school
  71. Learn from the master of selfless service, Jesus Christ. Study His life. Try to do what He would do and live as He would live. A good place to start is this website

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mitt Files — Apostasy (No, It's Not an EntrĂ©e)

This is the second in a series focusing on Mitt Romney's spiritual beliefs. As a full-time representative of Jesus Christ I am called to invite others to come unto ChristFeel free to contribute to this discussion, but keep comments focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ. View earlier Mitt Files here.

When people follow the prophet and keep God's commandments they are blessed. When they reject or distort the prophet's teachings they do not prosper; they experience disappointment, confusion and sorrow. The Bible and Book of Mormon are abundantly clear on this subject. As just one example—
"And [the Lord] hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence." (2 Nephi 1:20)
Widespread apostasy begins with individuals and soon infects communities and entire nations until but few believe the words of living prophets. When this happens God removes priesthood—the authority to act in His name for the salvation of His children—from the Earth. This is a pattern that has recurred since the beginning of time. Periods of time when priesthood is on Earth are called dispensations; periods without priesthood are known as apostasy.

The Savior's earthly ministry was marked by selfless service to others

When the Savior began His earthly ministry He restored priesthood authority. He healed the sick. He blessed children. He raised the dead. He taught His gospel. Most important He performed the atonement, an act of supreme mercy that covers every human being and ensures that somebody understands exactly what you're going through—your pains, your weaknesses, your sorrows, and your sins; but also your joys, your triumphs, and your beautiful experiences.

When Christ was crucified His apostles were left to administer the Church. But people quickly fell into apostasy. They brutally tortured and murdered the apostles, and it wasn't long before priesthood authority was again taken from the Earth. The world for centuries was enshrouded in suffocating spiritual darkness.

Avoiding Personal Apostasy, Elder Claudio D. Zivic

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mitt Files — Prophets and Priesthood

Thomas Spencer Monson
This is the second in a series focusing on Mitt Romney's spiritual beliefs. As a full-time representative of Jesus Christ I am called to invite others to come unto ChristFeel free to contribute to this discussion, but keep comments focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ. View earlier Mitt Files here.

This is Thomas S. Monson. He is the Lord's prophet on Earth today.

You may be surprised to learn that there are prophets and apostles among us, but if you've read and believe the Bible you understand there is precedent for that statement. God called prophets—first Adam and then others like Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jeremiah and Isaiah—throughout the ages to lead earnest followers of Christ, teach true doctrine, and point the world to the Savior and His atoning sacrifice. Prophets understand that it is only through the merits and mercy of Jesus Christ that we can be saved. They carry a special witness and testimony of the Savior's redeeming love.

Prophets also carry a special priesthood, even the power of God to act for the salvation of His children. God is a God of order, so ordinances like baptism and marriage must be performed by His priesthood authority in order to be binding. The living prophet is the only man who carries all the priesthood keys and the authority to use them. Fourteen other men are sustained as prophets, seers and revelators. They make up the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I was raised to believe in a living prophet and I sustain him today. But the sacred calling of the prophet became personal to me when in fall 2005 Gordon B. Hinckley—the prophet at the time—challenged everyone to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. He extended this powerful promise to those who would do so—
Without reservation I promise you that if each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God. (A Testimony Vibrant and True, August 2005 Ensign)
I took the prophet up on that challenge, and I found his promise to be entirely true.

Blessings follow those who follow the prophet. Unfortunately not everyone chooses to heed his God-inspired counsel. We'll talk about that next time we meet.

The Power of the Priesthood, President Boyd K. Packer
Willing and Worthy to Serve, President Thomas S. Monson
Prophets and Apostles Speak Today