News Story

Service Can Be Accomplished in Many Ways

Jesus Christ spent much of His ministry caring for those in need, both physically and spiritually. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada try to emulate His example by noticing the needs of others and acting to alleviate those needs.

Perceptive eyes, understanding neighbours and willing hands are required to notice a need and act on it. Sixteen members of the Church from the Bridgewater and Greenwood areas of Nova Scotia descended on a Springfield homestead with chainsaws, a wood splitter, wheelbarrows and helping hands to assist a normally self-sufficient couple, David and Vivienne Selig. A broken foot and surgery made it impossible for the Seligs to transform a large pile of logs into usable firewood. The volunteers quickly cut, moved, stacked and covered the wood in less than two hours.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches a personalized approach to caring for the temporal and spiritual needs of others. Without the need for direction from Church leaders, small groups or individuals are encouraged to respond to the divine mandate to serve others. Those who worked together to help the Seligs did just that. Their act of service helped to warm not only the Seligs’ home but also the hearts of all who participated.

In Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Church member Peter Ripple used his talents to benefit his hometown. Like so many rural communities, Liverpool has struggled to grow its population and improve its economy. Ripple, a retired school industrial arts teacher and expert carver, figured out a way to encourage people to move to Liverpool. One website and many hand-carved and painted hours later, two beautiful signs were installed on the roads entering town. People saw the signs and were motivated to visit the website and learn about the town. Now, a year later, Liverpool’s growth is on the upswing — young people are moving to town, and some are even starting new businesses to serve retirees.

When groups form to accomplish a task, good things happen. Edmonton-area women from Catholic Social Services, the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, the Edmonton Immigrant Services Association, Changing Together and congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Greenfield and Whitemud gathered together to make quilts and other items to enrich the lives of people the various entities serve. Many hands made light work, new friends were made and friendships were enhanced.

“When people with common goals join together in service to others, many note that their own troubles are minimized,” observed Eileen Bell, director of public affairs for the Church in Edmonton.

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin reminds his people, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). In the Bible we learn, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these … ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). As we serve as Christ, we help light the world with His love.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.