Service is essential for full, happy life

Benefits giver

Enhances love for God- Gives insight into eternities

"Selfless service is an essential ingredient for a full and happy life," Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy said Saturday afternoon.

Elder Johnson told of growing up in war-torn England and the joy of the family when his father returned home from military duty. Because of the family's humble circumstances, his father made many items of furniture for their home. "He invited me to help him by passing a hammer, a screwdriver, or some other tool. I was convinced that my help was necessary, and that without me he would not be able to complete his task.

"As he worked he played a game with me, inviting me to determine what he was making. I was seldom able to do so until the components were completed and the object was assembled. Then I would declare with great excitement, It's a bookcase!' ora table!'

"As I look back and reflect upon those wonderful memories, I realize that my contribution was not necessary for my father to complete the work he was engaged in. I was the beneficiary, as through these experiences I came to know him and to love him."

Continuing, Elder Johnson said: "How like the association we have with our Heavenly Father, believing at times that the service we engaged in is for His benefit, when in reality it is comparable with my handing tools to my father. It is the relationship that develops that is of greater significance more than the contribution we make.

"Just as I was not able to fully comprehend what my earthly father was building until he completed his work, so it is with our Heavenly Father. When His kingdom is established and the work is complete, we will recognize our home and shout for joy."

In speaking about his own family, Elder Johnson said that he and his wife, Pamela, determined early in their marriage that it was their responsibility to teach the gospel to their son, Kevin, and that Church programs would reinforce the teaching in the home.

"These experiences have contributed to a close family relationship that has flourished through the years, giving us an insight into the potential that exists in the eternities as described in Doctrine and Covenants:

" `And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.' " (Acts 17:27.)

Elder Johnson added: "We should always remember that, regardless of our circumstances, we all have a father in whom we can trust, and to whom we can turn for comfort and counsel. He is our Heavenly Father."

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