Learn duty and serve

It caused a bit of a sinking feeling. Not a serious "my-life-is-in-danger" or an "I'm-at-the-end-of-my-rope" feeling, but a "this-project-is-going-to-be-more-involved-than-I-thought" feeling.

He was working in the downstairs bathroom, preparing the walls and ceiling for their first coat of paint in several years. It was about time for a little fix-up and freshen-up for the room.But time was the very reason the project hadn't been undertaken sooner. Typical in today's all-too-busy world, time was the project's biggest challenge. Now that the homeowner had made time to do it, he didn't need complications that would extend the time required to complete it.

But as he lightly sanded the ceiling - and hit a spot made soggy by too much water - he knew the required time had just increased. Though he didn't know how much it had increased, it still caused his heart to sink - just a bit.

Subsequent investigation showed a water line was leaking. Though the leak was ever-so-slight, it was nevertheless continuous. And it was ruining the ceiling.

It had to be repaired.

Replacing the ruined piece of sheetrock was no problem. But so doing, of course, was worthless until the problem's cause was first remedied. That required finding the leak, then sealing it.

Now not only was the homeowner lacking in time, but he was lacking in knowledge and expertise. In short, he was no plumber.

Neither was Ron. But Ron could help, anyway.

Virtually every ward and branch in the Church has someone like Ron. If it doesn't, it should. Ron is the salt of the earth - the guy who, while faithful and diligent in his Church duties, additionally is first to help the do-it-yourself handyman when the poor guy gets in just a little over his head. Ron always seems to know just what to do.

The homeowner asked for help. Ron obliged, and was soon repairing the water pipe. As he watched Ron work, the homeowner was struck with the great similarities in temporal and spiritual service. To wit:


Ron drew on years of experience and practice to make this complicated task look simple. He had paid the price to learn his craft.

Spiritual preparation, of course, is essentially the same. A Young Woman adviser is of little spiritual use to her Mia Maid class if she hasn't paid the spiritual price to be prepared. Obedience, scripture study, fasting and prayer are among the things essential for preparation. (See Alma 17:2-3)

Practical experience

Ron not only knew what to do, but he knew how to do it. He'd plied his craft.

Because he'd worked with previously installed copper plumbing before, Ron knew that the blowtorch used to solder the joints sometimes heated the moisture left in pipe - causing what could be dangerous steam to sometimes blow from the pipe's unsealed end. The homeowner was astounded at the force of that steam. Ron, based on experience, expected it.

Rarely did everything go as smoothly as one would hope, but Ron learned with each success and failure - and brought the knowledge to each new task.

One of life's main purposes, of course, is to gain experience. If we, like Ron, learn from the good and not-so-good our mortal existence offers, we'll be so much the better prepared to live now and through eternity.

Willingness to help

The homeowner was busy before he started painting the bathroom. When the project took an unexpected turn, he needed help - from another equally busy person. But Ron was willing to make time to help.

Our knowledge of spiritual principles lies dormant and useless if we're not willing to apply it. Pondering spiritual principles is a wonderful thing. But applying those principles is even greater. And there's no better application than that which blesses others.

It took just a little more work - not to mention ingenuity - than even Ron had anticipated. But because of Ron's preparation, experience and willingness to help, the leak was sealed. The homeowner was, of course, deeply grateful. And Ron, too, was just a little better off for once again giving of himself.

To the homeowner, Ron was a fine example of what the Lord seeks from all priesthood holders.

"Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence." (D&C 107:99)

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