Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lift Where You Stand

This entry is part of my general conference application series.
Priesthood Session

Lift Where You Stand, by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Here are known and little-known facts about me: All of my degrees end in the letter "S." When we watch a film together and Maryann asks me what I want to watch, I often suggest one of our many Jane Austen-type films—Pride and Prejudice; Sense and Sensibility; Persuasion, etc.

What's the point? Despite being an engineer with training in the sciences (not the arts, mind you), I serve on a cultural arts committee. I mentioned my film choices to suggest that despite being an engineer (and a male), I enjoy perhaps non-intuitive entertainment.

President Uchtdorf gave instruction that seemed to resonate well with me when I first heard it (I marked it with a star when I took notes while watching the talk live), and seemed even more applicable upon review now. He observed:

You may feel that there are others who are more capable or more experienced who could fulfill your callings and assignments better than you can, but the Lord gave you your responsibilities for a reason. There may be people and hearts only you can reach and touch. Perhaps no one else could do it in quite the same way.

Isn't that exciting? When I catch myself thinking that there are many others who could do my job better than I can, I hope to remember that regardless of the accuracy of that thought, I was chosen for a reason. I know that I've been blessed by serving in similar situations many times before, and the benefit of hindsight confirms it. I want to serve, lift, love, and bless, even when it seems that what I do is so small compared to others' service.

President Uchtdorf shared the account of John Rowe Moyle (grandfather of Henry D. Moyle), who helped build the temple. Interest was added when we learn how he would walk six hours each direction to serve every week. The story is made especially interesting by the account of how he continued to make the journey after his leg was amputated and he carved his own wooden leg. After completely drawing you in with this narrative, President Uchtdorf sealed the message by revealing: "His hands carved the words 'Holiness to the Lord' that stand today as a golden marker to all who visit the Salt Lake Temple."

This picture is of the same phrase at the San Diego Temple. The significance of the statement was impressive to me when I visited there last year (so I took the picture). I hope I never forget this story of faithful service. I hope I never forget how unknown it was to me. I hope I never forget what President Uchtdorf reminded: that service, even not-readily-known service, "is just as pleasing to the Lord."

I want to remember to faithfully life where I stand.

1 thought:

Maryann said...

I often think about many different things when I am up in the night with Benjamin. Last night was no different, with all the lack of sleep the thought came to me "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven" (from Hymn: "Praise to the Man") and then joy filled my heart as I felt I was doing my part as a mother in Israel.