Today I read 2 Corinthians 8 and honestly the biggest impression I got from my reading today was, "Thank heavens for the Book of Mormon!". Pretty much the entire book of 2 Corinthians I have had a hard time getting the meaning of what Paul is trying to say to these Saints. I think it is because of difference in cultures and the times and a different way of speaking. It maybe because of translators or what ever the reason, I just don't know, but it is not very clear to me. I remember my Dad told me once that he tried to read the Bible when he was younger and it made no sense to him at all. He couldn't understand it! But after getting the Gift of the Holy Ghost after he was baptized, he went back and read the Bible and he could understand it now. I certainly believe him too because I read through the Old Testament for the first time 2 years ago and it was very difficult.
The main theme I took away from this chapter, aside from gratitude for the Book of Mormon, was service. It could just be that service has been on my mind, like my post 8 days ago on avoiding idleness, but to me if felt like Paul was trying to talk to the Saints at Corinth about serving their fellow man. As I have been listening to the most recent General Conference talk President Henry B. Eyering has been talking about a day of service that the church was involved in. My ward's day of service is coming up a week from tomorrow. It is a wonderful opportunity for the Saints to perform service for someone, either in the ward or in the community. Throughout my reading today I have been pondering on Mosiah 2:17 where King Benjamin teaches that when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are really serving God.
I have long pondered on the point of service and why we are asked to serve our fellow man. God without even lifting so much as an eyebrow could provide for His people everything that they need. But He doesn't. He chooses instead to use us, imperfect beings, to provide for the needs of others. The reason He does this, is because performing service is as much for the person performing the service as it is for the person receiving the service. When we perform service, we are putting the needs of others ahead of our own. We are allowed to step into the role of the Savior and provide for the temporal needs of those around us. This of course allows the Spirit of the Lord to come into our lives which is why it feels so good to provide service.
There is a purpose to everything Heavenly Father does. As I stated above, Heavenly Father could provide for the needs of everyone Himself, and at times He does. However, the reason we are allowed to help Him in this all important work is because it will change us. When we provide service to others it changes who we are and our thought process. Putting aside our own desires for sleep, the money we donate, our time or whatever we are sacrificing to help someone else will cause us to change a little bit and grow. We will be putting off the natural man and taking a good step towards becoming more like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We should never pass up the opportunity to serve, no matter how small, if we can help it. We should always take the time to serve those around us. As we do we will find ourselves a lot happier than we were before. Until tomorrow.