Serving at a distance

by Cassie Mitchell


Suddenly a new way of life has been introduced: a new way of working, holding meetings, teaching, socialising, and serving through online technology – serving at a distance.  President Kimball said, “The Lord answers our prayers, but it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”  President Kimball is not specific with how we do this.  Whether we serve close or at a distance, others’ needs can be met.  The distance does not define the act or the way.

President Monson said, “Often small acts of service are all that is required to lift and bless another.”  Members of the Portsmouth Stake have found this to be true through their acts of service during this unprecedented time:

  • Putting a note through a door, meant neighbours became friends.

  • Joining a volunteer group, led to 90 headbands being made for NHS staff.

  • A neighbour donating fabric, meant more than 60 laundry bags being made for hospitals.

  • Using the telephone, meant many elderly people not feeling so lonely.

  • Because of freebies, toiletry bags were made for people in hospital.

  • Sending chocolate through the post, uplifted nursing staff.

  • Having a car, enabled food parcels to be delivered and collected for families and food banks.

  • Selflessness led to participation in a vaccination trial that has helped research and development teams.

  • Dropping a card and bubbles through a neighbour’s door, meant a little boy had a little bit more excitement on his birthday.

Not only have these wonderful acts of service filled others with peace and joy, they have blessed the lives of the person serving.  President Lorenzo Snow explained it better when he said, “When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated.”

Physically we may be apart, but we are growing closer.  Neighbours and communities are working together.  Families and friends are spending more time talking and listening to each other. 

The uncertainty of the lockdown situation has led people to becoming more kind, generous, thoughtful, caring, encouraging and grateful, all qualities that the Saviour demonstrated as He served people in all circumstances.  Elder Uchtdorf promised, “When we reach out to bless the lives of others, our lives are blessed as well. Service and sacrifice open the windows of heaven, allowing choice blessings to descend upon us. Surely our beloved Heavenly Father smiles upon those who care for the least of His children.”  How wonderful to know that the windows of heaven are open and that the Lord smiles upon us when we serve His children.

The last few words of President Nelson’s recent video address were, “I assure you that wonderful days are ahead.”  Knowing that we have wonderful times to come helps us to keep going, to keep serving.