Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First Observe, Then Serve

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

First Observe, Then Serve, by Linda K. Burton
Relief Society General President

After dinner last night I called my two oldest children (seven and nine years old) back to the dining room to help clean up. My daughter was first to arrive, so I let her choose which of the tasks she would like; she chose to clear and clean the table. After I gave my son his assignment, I went to the kitchen to work on the dishes. While I was washing, I realized that I had forgotten to tell my son that I would also like him to clean off the chairs, so I returned to the dining room to give him this instruction. What I found surprised me, but it really shouldn't have.

As I was asking my son to also clean the chairs, I realized that my daughter was already doing the job. Curious, I asked her why she was cleaning the chairs when she had only been asked to clean the table. In her loving way, she simply said, "Well, I saw that they were dirty, so I started to clean them."

I mentioned that I shouldn't have been surprised. This is because my sweet daughter often does things for others without being asked—often sacrificing her own treats and treasures to share with her siblings. Knowing that she heard me ask her older brother to clean the chairs, I wondered if she would stop helping and let him take over; however, I was surprised / not surprised again to see that she lovingly continued to do the job.

My daughter is a sweet girl that seems to live by the philosophy: "First observe, then serve."

 Here's a picture of my sweet [two-thless] girl from
earlier in the week after she lost her second front tooth

In her talk, Sister Burton shared many examples of people who have done as my wonderful daughter does, followed by scriptures connecting the loving acts of Christ-like service to the teachings of Christ himself.

I'm grateful for the example of Christ and for his teachings. I'm also grateful for my loving family—including my precious daughter—who often show their love for me and others when they "first observe, then serve."

As I tucked her into bed later in the night I remembered how she had helped clean the table. I told her that I love her, and that I love how she shows love for others. I then thanked her for being who she is: a wonderful girl who loves so freely.

She then told me something I hadn't ever heard her say: "Daddy, I want a little sister to play with."

I told her that she was sweet and would be a wonderful big sister for a little girl, then reminded her that she had little brothers with whom she can play (but I didn't say it in such a formally awkward way).

What I wanted to say, though, was, "I would have one hundred daughters if they were all as sweet and kind as you!"

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)

My daughter is one who will first observe, then serve!

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