When 2018 started, I had one desire: to know Christ better.
You see, there is a difference between knowing about Christ and truly knowing Christ. Sure, it’s nice to know new facts about the Savior, but it’s another thing to truly know Him. Being a mother caught up in daily tasks and multiple roles, I sometimes miss some important steps that would help me know the Savior better. “Scripture study is never the same,” I often said to myself. I felt as though I had already lost touch with the feeling of really knowing Christ. So, I prayed, and asked the Lord to help me better know Christ. I expected my answer to include reading the scriptures more, always listening to General Conference talks, and singing hymns. But instead I got an unexpectedly short but powerful impression: “SERVE.”
Don’t get me wrong, I know that service is an essential part of being like the Savior, but I also wanted to know Christ better. How could service help me do that? Still unsure, I trusted the answer, put it to the test, and gained so much insight and wisdom through numerous service opportunities. Indeed, service helped me know more about the Savior. Here are some examples.
He is a Loving Listener
Edlyn was once a member of my young women class. I had not heard from her in years, and when I finally got an update about her, I learned that she already had two children. Unfortunately, Edlyn often shared her heartbreak over her failed relationship, and hardships in raising her children. When I reached out to her, I asked her how she was keeping it all together. Her answer touched me. “You see, every time I pour my heart out in prayer, I just know Someone listens to me. I don’t know why but I feel so much comfort after.”
He Sees Our Potential
Maybe some wives are always the epitome of kindness, but I’m not always that wife. There are times when, because of my desire to see him improve, I can get stingy with my husband. I asked the Lord to help me be kinder, especially when encouraging my husband during tough times. My mind then reflected on the Savior’s Atonement, and how He bore our infirmities. He also bore the tough times my husband and I are facing and I’m sure He saw my husband’s capacity to rise in the face of hardships. That knowledge helped me to be a little kinder to my eternal companion.
He Understands What Others Can’t
I love Sister Linda K. Burton’s invitation to “first observe, then serve.” Indeed, when we observe someone, we begin to understand what they’re going through, making it easier for us to identify ways to serve. However, there are moments when you simply don’t know what to say because you do not understand. I felt that way when we visited a mother who had just lost her youngest daughter. While talking with her, there came a realization that although I could not understand what she was going through, the Lord could. This can also be seen in the many moments when we simply get the impression to serve someone, despite them not saying a word. He understands our needs and He sends the very help that we need.
He Loves Me
One of the biggest things I have learned through service is that He loves me. In those moments when I saw prayers answered, hearts comforted, and hurts healed, I was reminded of the infinite love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. A love that extends not only to those whom I serve but to me as well.
Service: A Great Way To Know Christ Better
My experience has taught me that the invitation to serve is an invitation to know Christ better. I have always loved the promise given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “As we extend our hands and hearts towards others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger.” In my case, I was able to learn more about the Redeemer. May we learn more about Jesus Christ in every service opportunity we have this year.