The following is an oft quoted scripture in many Mormon churches:
“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
I’ve read this scripture dozens of times. I have it memorized. It is a part of my faith. Though I’m familiar with it, something new stood out to me. This scripture pertains to joy.
So – when we serve others, we are serving God. How are we serving Him? When we bring a meal to a new mother, does this mean that we are also bringing a new meal to God? Or maybe are we serving God because we are acting as His hands and doing service for others? Maybe it’s both.
I’ve always thought of this scripture in the former mindset – that when I’m serving someone, I’m doing the same thing for God. I’m feeding Him, clothing Him, etc.
I haven’t though of this idea in the latter mindset, but I think that it works, too. For example, there are times when I have to ask my kids to help me with something (like dishes, let’s say). When they do the dishes, they are doing a work that I no longer have to do.
Maybe, when we give a meal to another, we are then serving God by doing this work “for” Him.
I know this might seem like a stretch, but follow me for a second.
If we look at service this way (in addition to the first way described. I really think that both are viable ways to look at service…), then it makes sense to me why we become so overcome with joy during service.
By serving others “for” God, we become a conduit of His love. We become saturated in His Spirit. It feels great. It feels joyful. We are saturated by God’s Spirit and Love. Pretty good deal.
And maybe this is why service is such a blessing.
All I know is that we feel happier when we are serving. Even if we are struggling and suffering, when we forget about ourselves and serve others, we put ourselves in the cross-fire of God’s love. 🙂
So, if we want happier lives, then we ought to serve more.