Elder Oaks is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I’m excited to read his talk this week for General Conference Book Club. It’s week 8 already; can you believe it? We already studied Elder Christofferson’s talk a couple of weeks back, and I think this week’s talk is an extension of that message. It is called “Unselfish Service,” and teaches us that we must be engaged in the work of building the kingdom of God and offering service to those around us. I look forward, as I always do, to reading your comments about this great talk.
If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it. You’re welcome to join us at any point along the way.
>>Click here to read the talk “Unselfish Service,” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks<<
Here is a lovely video where Elder Jeffrey Holland teaches how we can serve by showing true love to one another. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did:
5 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 8: Elder Oaks”
I’m so glad you chose this one! I just read it last night, and that quote he used from CS Lewis is killer. I’ll be back with more insights later . . . because, you know, calling CS Lewis “killer” doesn’t exactly speak to my intense spirituality, now, does it?
This talk hit home for me. My husband has been part of several “Helping Hands” teams–these are the kinds of things that are going to change people’s opinions of the Church throughout the world. They helped to clean up after hurricanes in small towns in the South where people felt forgotten–until these nice, clean cut guys in yellow t-shirts appeared. We even had an investigator in our last ward decide after going on one of these work projects that he wanted to belong to a church that did this kind of stuff for other people.
My parents are on their 2nd mission right now and feel sorry for all their peers who don’t want to leave their nice houses and grandkids to serve. The whole family loses something by their not going–I could give you a list of the things we have been blessed with because of their selfless service. There were certainly sacrifices for all of us too, but the blessings were greater. I think this is another principle that will separate the Church and it’s members as the world continues its backward moral slide.
I read this talk with the perspective of a mom – how to unselfishly serve my children. Here are a few quotes that hit me:
~”Forget yourself and go to work.” How many times have we heard this? Yet how many times have I been found on the computer while my kids are staring at the TV, watching yet another movie?
~”We do not serve our Savior well if we fear man more than God.” I know I’m kind of taking this out of context, but honestly, how many times do we give in to our children when we think others are judging us? How many times do we let them get away with things, rather than taking the time to love them and explain basic principles to them?
~This next one was a major one for me. I replaced the word “men” with “moms”: “We cannot walk as other [moms], or talk as other [moms], or do as other [moms], for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves to it.” This is going up on my wall. We can’t compare ourselves to other moms – even within the Church. All it does is make us feel bad, or worse yet, look down on them.
~”We live in a time when sacrifice [even as moms] is definitely out of fashion, when the outside forces that taught our ancestors the need for unselfish cooperative service have diminished.” All you have to do is look around to know this is true.
~Last one – “We [as mothers] can do no great things, only small things with great love.” We’re not here to earn the “best mother” award. We’re here so our children are loved as Heavenly Father loves them – and so our children FEEL that love. That’s our goal.
Thanks for choosing this talk! I had an awakening of sorts as I read the quote from C S Lewis as well. Satan wanted to be God (to have the glory) and then he tempted our first parents that way too, to have knowledge even as the gods, hence to be God. I guess this is where it comes in that all we really have to give the the Lord is our will to follow Him and to not try to find our own happiness without Him. We can only find temporary happiness in trying to please man and lasting happiness as we please God.
I have always loved Elder Oaks and now I’m excited to go to the Temple and pay particular attention to the interaction with Satan and Adam and Eve. Great choice in talks for this week, Stephanie!!
I thought GCBC would be great because it would help me to study the talks more, and that has been true, but the best part is in reading comments from others. Sometimes the thing that sticks out to you is the thing that I missed. “I especially liked Laurie’s “We cannot walk as other [moms]…” comments.
I don’t have any profound comments of my own to share, but wanted to thank the rest of you.