Jesus Christ taught that love and service to others are important patterns for growth in our Father's eternal plan. The Saviour, himself, has a perfect ability to love and serve — and he demonstrates His own example in a love characterized by the services He gives to the children of men.
My dear brothers and sisters, love is a commandment. One day as Christ was busy teaching, a scribe asked him: “Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31).
These two commandments are greater than the others. When we love God and our fellowmen, we do all we can to make them happy, and hence we keep all the other commandments. We are his disciples only when we have love one to another (including our enemies) and we are taught to be unselfish and charitable.
Harold B. Lee, President of the Church from 1972 to 1973, said: “If you want to love God, you have to learn to love and serve the people. That is the way you show your love for God.” (Liahona, May 1973)
Christlike service is a service given sincerely to someone who is in need, and for which we expect no reward. It may be that you have not been asked — or that it is unpleasant and requires great effort on our part. It may be that it has to be given at a time when it is difficult for us to give it. No matter the circumstances, this is a service that we should give just because we love our Heavenly Father's children.
We have promised the Lord to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; … to mourn with those that mourn; … comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” (Mosiah 18:8-9). We have the responsibility to seek the needy, assist them with love and kindness without being asked or commanded to do so, (Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-29).
Spencer W. Kimball, President of the Church from 1973 to 1985, pointed out that: “Service to others deepens and sweetens this life while we are preparing to live in a better world. It is by serving that we learn to serve. When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves! In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves!” (Liahona, March 1981)
In our 2019 Area Plan, we have a key purpose to “Love, Serve and Teach One Another”. To do so, we should be with our fellowmen, strengthen them, invite them one by one to join the only true Church of Jesus Christ, teach them the power of repentance and the truths contained in the Book of Mormon — and help them to endure to the end.
To be ministering brothers and sisters is to be a blessing from the Lord to others by our works of love and service to others, to bear their burdens, mourn with those that mourn, to comfort those that stand in need of comfort. We have the obligation to seek after those that stand in need of rescue. Then we should help them, without being urged or commanded to do so. This is the essence of ministering. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:34-40). This is the rule of proximity.
For us to have joy and happiness, we must start with being good examples ourselves — and by having the proper spirit. God will help us to radiate love, charity, and service! We are daughters and sons of our Father in Heaven, who leads us with His gospel in order to reconcile us with Him through our obedience to His commandments.
In 2018, our dear Prophet, Russell M. Nelson, revealed to us the way in which the hearts of men must draw closer one by one to serve others with love and through ministering, this is the Christ’s way of lifting and strengthening us. I testify that ministering is a spiritual activity, a missionary service that brings together the children of Heavenly Father and helps them draw closer to Him. His Holy temple is our ultimate goal.
We must focus on inspired ministering to individuals and families. Our role is to provide an organized effort, a joint effort, and guided effort to serve individuals, families, and our communities.
Our Christian duty is to implement these things using the 2019 Area Plan, which provides us with a vision to carry out one of its 3 key priorities: “to love, to serve and to teach one another.'
In this Plan, the verbs 'To deepen and to establish,' are centered on Jesus Christ and his gospel in order to strengthen one another.