GCBC Week 13: “Finding Joy through Loving Service” by Elder M. Russell Ballard

Believe it or not, we are already about halfway through the talks.  Crazy, huh?  This talk is one of many from conference that reminded me about the importance of charity.  There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on service.

“Finding Joy through Loving Service” by Elder M. Russell Ballard

May we show our love and appreciation for the Savior’s atoning sacrifice through our simple, compassionate acts of service.

One of my favorite quotes from his talks was in his introduction of his topic of charity:

Brothers and sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, no matter how much we try to make it complicated. We should strive to keep our lives similarly simple, unencumbered by extraneous influences, focused on those things that matter most.

This is a principle I am struggling with a little bit right now, and I know that, just as he said, I simply need to focus on “what matters most.”  It’s so easy for those details to get lost, just like the story he told about the gold flakes.

What stood out to you as you read?  In what ways do you think he’s asking us to apply this message?  Share your thoughts and conversation in the comment thread below.  If you’re new to GCBC, check out the club here.

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8 thoughts on “GCBC Week 13: “Finding Joy through Loving Service” by Elder M. Russell Ballard

  1. I find solace in the quote Elder Ballard used by Jospeh B. Wirthlin: “Kindness is the essence of greatness…[It] is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes.”

  2. E. Ballard is right when he talked about how missionary work will be advanced by members and missionaries engaging in charitable service. I lived in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina and our ward sent a large crew of men on a couple of occassions to different parts of MS and LA to help clean-up. The people in these towns came to love the people in the “yellow shirts” who volunteered to spend their weekend cutting up trees and clearing out houses. One person even said that the two groups of people who were the biggest help were “the Mormons and the Latter-Day Saints”. :)

  3. I love the story of the young boy looking for gold, and the wisdom of the old prospector. I think that often time we get so wrapped up in looking for big service opportunities that we miss out on the small day to day acts of kindness and service that require little effort on our part. Like taking the time to play a game with our children, or offering to watch a neighbors small children so that she can have a few hours of peace and quiet. This is a talk that I have already read several times and am trying to apply more to my life. I hope that by picking up the small flecks of service I will be able to lift and help more than if I only pass out giant nuggets to a few people.

  4. I felt like Elder Ballard’s talk was just like the story of the young merchant looking for gold. I usually find a lot of “nuggets” in General Conference talks, but in Elder Ballard’s talk there were mostly “flakes” – taken together they filled up my pouch, but as I finished reading his talk, I almost found myself disappointed because there were no “nuggets”!

    I wrote about it here

  5. “…unencumbered by extraneous influences..” That stood out to me when I heard it and it stood out to me again (I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who allows me ways to revisit personal revelations, and by remembering can recommit to do better!). For me it seems like my real struggle is the careful use of my time and consciously paring down the extraneous things. I feel like I am surrounded by so many good choices, but it takes actual thought and effort to select the best things.

  6. I like what all of you have said. I wish only to add that a theme I am seeing throughout conference is to bring it home. Once we are taking care of our homes then we are better able to help in our Ward and Communities. We aren’t being asked to help everyone everywhere…we are to help at home!

  7. My thoughts were right in line with Melody’s. This full quote shot out to me” “Brothers and sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, no matter how much we try to make it complicated. We should strive to keep our lives similarly simple, unencumbered by extraneous influences, focused on those things that matter most.”

    Much to process and think about. Thanks for the book club. I fall behind but I feel a sense of accountability and I am grateful for it. :)

  8. We moved at the end of June, so I missed a few weeks of this. I’m determined to get caught up before conference comes again! I’ve been thinking about service a lot this year, so I really appreciated Elder Ballard’s talk. I loved the reminder to focus on the small and simple things, and I think the following quote is the one I need to ponder the most:

    “I believe there is one simple but profound – even sublime – principle that encompasses the entirety of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we whole-heartedly embrace this principle and make it the focus of our lives, it will purify and sanctify us so we can live once again in the presence of God.” I want to be purified and sanctified, and Elder Ballard taught that that happens as we develop charity. He said, “When this pure love of Christ – or charity – envelops us, we think, feel, and act more like Heavenly Father and Jesus would think, feel, and act.” I’m so far from where I want to be, but this talk gave me hope. That’s just one reason why I’m grateful for general conference.

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