Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LDS Writer Blogfest: "Opportunities to do Good"

Twice a year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broadcasts General Conference all over the world so that we, as church members, can listen to messages from our prophet and other church leaders. As part of the LDS Writer Blogfest, I want to share a couple of (purple) quotes from Henry B. Eyring's "Opportunities to do Good. Or you can just click on the link I provided to read the original. It's better than my patchwork.

Our Heavenly Father hears the prayers of His children across the earth pleading for food to eat, for clothes to cover their bodies, and for the dignity that would come from being able to provide for themselves. Those pleas have reached Him since He placed men and women on the earth.

You learn of those needs where you live and from across the world. Your heart is often stirred with feelings of sympathy. When you meet someone struggling to find employment, you feel that desire to help. You feel it when you go into the home of a widow and see that she has no food. You feel it when you see photographs of crying children sitting in the ruins of their home destroyed by an earthquake or by fire.

This particular message struck a chord because there have been so many disasters, and of course we have friends and family out of work. A person can start to feel helpless, but there are ways to help both those who are close to us and those as far away as Japan.

I grew up on a farm, and we learned to work hard at a young age. My mom was the hardest worker I've ever met. She gave of herself at home, in the community, church, and with friends and neighbors. We had a neighbor, a single mother of three boys, who would come over to help with stuff like washing the windows. I didn't know my mom was finding jobs and paying her because she was out of work or that Mom would take her grocery shopping. Her boys came over and helped us with chores all the time, so they could play with us. They were good neighbors. She told me about it when Mom died, and there were so many others with stories.

In our church, we have a welfare system that helps people become self-sufficient. We fast on the first Sunday of the month and give what we might have spent on the food for those meals to help those in need.

President Marion G. Romney said of welfare work, “You cannot give yourself poor in this work.” And then he quoted his mission president, Melvin J. Ballard, this way: “A person cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.” 

I have found that to be true in my life. When I am generous to Heavenly Father’s children in need, He is generous to me.

I have also found that to be true in my life. When I work for the good of others, I'm a happier, more confident person than when I focus too much of my energy on myself. I'm also more productive in my own pursuits, which might seem like a contradiction, but in Luke 12: 31, the Savior says "seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you." He keeps his promises.

Elder Eyring also shared the lyrics to the following song:

If you're interested in reading more, you can follow the links below. Thanks for letting me share something more personal than usual. I'd be happy to answer any questions in the comments or in an e-mail, if you'd prefer.

Annette Lyon: “Desire”
Annie Cechini: “The Spirit of Revelation”
Ben Spendlove: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Chantele Sedgwick: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Charity Bradford: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Jackee Alston: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Jenilyn Tolley: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Jennifer McFadden: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jessie Oliveros: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jolene Perry: “It’s Conference Once Again”
Jordan McCollum: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Kasey Tross: “Guided by the Holy Spirit”
Kayeleen Hamblin: “Become as a Little Child”
Kelly Bryson: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Krista Van Dolzer: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Melanie Stanford: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Michelle Merrill: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Nisa Swineford: “Desire”
Sallee Mathews: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Sierra Gardner: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Tamara Hart Heiner: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”
The Writing Lair: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”


  1. I enjoyed that talk. There's always something good to be doing, even if it's just making the world a little better for the people directly around us. Thanks for posting!

  2. There were so many good talks on giving in this conference session. They really got me thinking, especially so close to Easter, when my heart is most turned toward the Savior.

    Great post, and I'm glad you included the links!


  3. Thank you for sharing your mother's example of Christlike service, Myrna. That was such a touching story. And I loved the quotes you used from President Eyring's talk, especially "When I am generous to Heavenly Father’s children in need, He is generous to me." That's so true.

  4. I love your take on this, Myrn! Such a great reminder. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with how much service is required of me in my calling and then I notice the same thing as you: I have more time for the things in my own life. "All things are added." It's a wonderful promise.

    Thanks for sharing, my friend! Hugs!

  5. Hi Myrna- I keep thinking, oh yeah- that talk was good too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Service does make us feel good. Except for that one time when I watched some people's kids so they could go to the temple and they gave my whole family a stomach virus. Every other time, though;)

  6. Thank you so much for your post! My mom is also incredibly amazing and such an example to me of how to give selflessly.

  7. I enjoyed that talk as well. Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. Joey was really sad when he found out you weren't going to be his teacher any more.

  8. What an important talk, and your mother is truly awesome example (as is my own). Service is something I totally need to work on. Great post.

  9. I loved that conference talk too. Serving others is the fastest way to feel happiness, whether it is at home, in your community or abroad. Thanks for your post.

  10. What a wonderful woman your mum was.

  11. Thank you for sharing your personal stories as well as the video. It was all wonderful!

  12. It is so easy to be consumed with my own needs. But I find that once I look, opportunities for good are always there. Thank you for sharing the story about your mother. What a beautiful example!

  13. Sorry again for the late posting :) but I had to comment. I loved this talk! Thank you for sharing your story about your mother. This talk struck a very personal chord for me as well. Thank you for posting this, so I could read it again as a reminder.