Draw close to the master by service to his children

President Thomas S. Monson admonished in the priesthood session Saturday evening, "Somehow I feel that if we will always remember who it is we serve, and on whose errand we are, we will draw closer to the source of the inspiration we seek - even our Master and Savior."

President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, said all priesthood holders have opportunities to serve Heavenly Father and His children. "It is contrary to the spirit of service to live selfishly within ourselves and disregard the needs of others."President Monson recalled the experience of Elder ElRay L. Christiansen, who was president of the East Cache Stake in Logan, Utah, before being called as an Assistant to the Twelve. As a stake president, Pres. Christiansen developed with his counselors a four-year plan to increase the spirituality of stake members. The objectives, one for each year, were every family having family prayer, every member attending sacrament meeting, every member paying an honest tithe and every member honoring the Sabbath Day.

"After the four-year program was concluded, all four of the specific objectives had been attained, but of even greater significance, the spirituality of the membership of the East Cache Stake had shown marked improvement," President Monson recounted.

"Brethren, there are tens of thousands of priesthood holders scattered among you who, through indifference, hurt feelings, shyness or weakness, cannot bless to the fullest extent their wives and children - without considering the lives of others they could lift and bless. Ours is the solemn duty to bring about a change, to take such an individual by the hand and help him arise and be well spiritually."

President Monson told of the experiences of two former stake presidents, Pres. Cecil Broadbent of the North Carbon Stake in Utah and Pres. E. Francis Winters of the Star Valley Stake in Wyoming, who touched the lives of those they served.

"Brethren," President Monson concluded, "my prayer tonight is that all of us, in whatever capacities we serve in the Church, may merit the gentle touch on our shoulder of the Master's hand and qualify for that same salutation received by Nathanael. (See John 1:47.) That we, at the conclusion of life's journey, may hear those divinely spoken words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

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