Saturday, September 04, 2010

Doing Good is a Pleasure

Ice Cream with the Elders

I recently read an Ensign article about what one family did during a period of unemployment.  I read it with interest, because we were still in our summer of no paycheck, and I always like to see if there is something I'm missing frugality-wise.

But the thing that struck me most was not something this family did to save money, it was something they felt they needed to do in order for the Lord to bless them in their trial:  Serve.
"We also agreed that we should continue to put the Lord first in other ways, diligently serving in our Church callings and serving others around us."
They stepped up their commitment to their callings, they looked for opportunities to serve people around them, and they even joined the ward choir.

So, Joel and I decided to do the same.  One of the things that ended up happening was a wonderful relationship with the current set of missionaries, as Joel went out with them quite a bit.  He was pretty much always available to help them, so help them he did.  And I know we were blessed for it.

I know I tried to give more thought and prayer to my Young Women preparations, too.  Hard to do when there is only one of her (hard to make it interesting for her, that is), but I felt happy with the things I was able to do.

Which is why I cried and cried last week when I got released.  I got put in immediately after I moved here a year ago, and so it was unexpected. But in a branch as small as ours, when people move in or out the entire organization has to be shuffled.  Tomorrow I start my first day as the counselor in the Primary Presidency (there are only the two of us).  I'm excited, I've never really served in Primary, other than a stint as the Primary Music Leader when Bria was a baby.

Anyway, the point is, serving wherever we are needed really does bring us blessings.  Which is why our family theme for this school year is going to have a lot to do with that. (Hint:  The title of this post is our theme for the year.)  Sometimes I feel like we haven't taught our children very well when it comes to serving others without receiving something in return.  Maybe it's just the way the world is nowadays, but I want my children to always be able to look outside of themselves and find ways to help other people and make their lives easier.

Which means I'm going to have to continue to step it up myself.

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad
and made someone feel glad?
If not I have failed indeed.
Has anyone's burden been lighter today
because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary
been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?

Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansions above.
Doing good is a pleasure
A joy beyond measure
A blessing of duty and love.
Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Love this, Lara. Stepping it up is always daunting, but always rewarding.

  2. A joy beyond measure, if you will.

  3. This is an excellent reminder for me.

  4. It is always strange how quickly those blessing come, too. I need to be better at serving. In the last couple years it has been pushed aside while dealing with stress.

  5. That is my father's favorite hymn. We sang it every morning before scripture study. As an adult, I have understood the meaning and message far better than I ever did as a teen. And I am so glad you posted this. I need to step up my service. I have lots of ideas, but haven't done any of them. Thank you for your example.

  6. This really hits home for me as multiple people from our ward have been here throughout the day to help put new shingles on our, dirty, grueling work with no pay.
    I felt mixed feelings when I was released as YW's president after over 2 years. I was ready, but it was bittersweet. I really needed to read this as I face the new challenging of teaching the Old Testament to 12 and 13 year olds.

  7. This is very inspiring, esp. since we are in month six of unemployment. We have had the missionaries over a lot, too--aren't they cute? I have been serving in the primary for five years and love it! I have never had one calling for so long in my life. Primary is totally the best place to be. It's so great, that's where the Spirit hangs out, too. : )

  8. Serving changes everything, from your perspective to your relationships with God and others. Great post. Thanks, Lara.

  9. Great ideas. I definitely need to teach my kids more about service.

  10. There are so many areas where I fall down- but not serving is NOT one of them. I'm in sort of the opposite place. I have served without balance and that is no good either. I'm feeling 'all used up' so, for now, I'm pulling back. At least for awhile. It is so hard to find that balance between serving others and serving others at the expense of our own families. Still trying to find it.

    However, after this short hiatus, perhaps the total focus of service for me will be on teaching my CHILDREN more about serving. I do a lot of it but don't generally pull THEM in.

  11. I love this post. Last week, my son and I went around delivering fudge. A few people wanted to know why we were doing it and my answer was simple. I'd been pretty self-absorbed that week and I needed to do something good for someone else. Even if it was just fudge.

  12. I love this - although I would have to admit it, after my first stint in YW , and I got released, I bawled like never before over a calling. once I moved onto something else, I realized the joy is in serving not WHERE.

    Great post

  13. WOW thank you for this post I needed a pick me up even if is just for a day. Great post.

  14. Anyway, the point is, serving wherever we are needed really does bring us blessings.

    Yes, it does. There is nothing like serving to raise the spirits and gladden the heart.

  15. Ok, at first, I saw that picture and thought, "Why is Joel sitting with the missionaries in a bar?" :)

    This reminds me a lot of a very similar summer our family had a few years ago. I ended up going with the missionaries all the time.

  16. What a good choice for a theme!

  17. Joel+missionaries=perfect.
    I miss my brother so much and i love that picture.

    I LOVED being in Primary. Wish I were still there ofttimes. You'll be perfect.