Sermoncitos, a family tradition



The past few months I was in a struggle for the attentions of Rafferty Brown. I needed him to do construction on my new building. He needed to spend time with his ailing mother. As she needed him more, I got him less, and we are all blessed because of his choice. His service to his mother is an inspiration and example to us all. We all suffer in life; and we all need others at the time of our death; and we all need each other at the time of the death of our loved ones.
His service to her did not make her more dependent, but met her need for loving attention at a critical time, and met his need as well. His life will be blessed for all his life, because he served someone while they were in need. We know that he and all the family are also in need and we gather to serve them in their hour of grief.

Today we are celebrating the life of a sister who lived long enough to once again need the constant care of others. She was gracious enough to accept that change from self sufficient mother to becoming totally dependent, like a small baby. As she accepted the attention and care of others, their love grew, and everyone loved being around her. My daughter had her first baby two weeks ago. She has sacrificed much in the past nine months for Annie, and loves her like no one else can. She is the one who serves her the most.

We learn to love Jesus, because of his service, “I am among you as he that serveth” (Luke 22:27).

As true followers of Jesus, we show love of god and man by serving others.(Luke 22:27).

Service is helping others who need assistance. Christlike service grows out of genuine love for the Savior and of love and concern for those whom he give us opportunities and direction to help.

Love is more than a feeling; when we love others, we want to help them.

We live the gospel by serving others. Whether its being in church and fulfilling an assignment, or visiting people in their homes, or coming when they call, when we serve others we receive important blessings.

Through service we gain the ability to love. We become less selfish. As we think of others our own problems become less serious.

A few weeks ago she came to church in Gallup. The room was filled with love as she asked for a blessing, and with the Spirit of God as the prayers of all were offered in her behalf. Her need resulted in a blessing to everyone who extended love to her.

We are all in need of others, yet throughout our lives we also offend others and fall short of their expectations. We must forgive offensives so we can accept and offer service. Often we refuse the attentions of others for one reason or other without thinking of the eternal implications, because we must serve others to gain eternal life.

God has said that those who want to live with him must love and serve his children. (Mathew 25:32-46; Romans 12:1,2).

As I left on my mission my father gave me this advice: “accept the service that others may want to give you. They need the blessings that will come as they serve you.”

He lived this advice until the end of his own life a year ago. His years of service to my disabled mother made his heart tender, and increased his love and concern for us all. He served those on the other side of the veil through the name extraction program until the day he joined them. I am sure that he learned to love them, and was received with joy and appreciation by thousands. My own brother has greatly extended his fragile life by dedicating all the energy he has to the service of others in the missions and the temples.

Those in need like our dear sister teach you how to be humble all your life so you are able to accept the blessings of giving and receiving service. When we willingly serve others in the spirit of love, we become more like Christ.

May we live the Gospel by learning to be more like Christ by serving and accepting service is my prayer. God lives, and we learn to be more like Him as we serve others. We are all here only a short time before going on to the next life. Let’s forgive one another and learn to give and accept service.