Shining moments: On fire with service

On any given Sunday night, 18-year-old Brock Henderson and his teenage friends can be found sitting beside residents of a retirement home swapping stories and having a good laugh. At a time in life when many teenagers are uncomfortable around the elderly, says his mother, Sandy, Brock and his friends use this as a form of recreation.

"He's always looking to help," she said. "When he has a spare moment, he goes looking for ways to serve. In high school, he and his friends would be alert for those who maybe needed extra encouragement, and at the end of the week would anonymously give them a rose.

"But I haven't always felt this desire," he said, explaining how his desire to serve caught fire following an inspiring address given during youth conference one summer after his sophomore year in high school. "I walked out feeling I had to do something," he said.

For the next year, he grappled with how to organize others. He used his parents as a sounding board for his ideas, and made his ambition a focus of prayer, where "bits and pieces of understanding came." The final organizational piece of the puzzle fell into place when he was called as seminary president prior to his senior year.

"We organized projects through the seminary," he said. "We called it Kids in Action."

Participation grew — as well as the frequency of projects — as word of the group spread. It came to the point, Brock said, "that we were asked to limit the number of service projects to one a month."

Among the variety of projects they sponsored, Kids in Action organized a prom night at a retirement home where the teens danced with residents. On another occasion they sponsored a "Reverse Trick or Treat" evening where they gave candy to residents.

One of the unspoken joys of service for Brock was to see the satisfaction of service light up another's life. "Several guys were walking ahead of me after a service project. I overheard one guy as he turned to the other and described his excitement of helping others by saying he was 'on fire.'

"Serving others is the way I've learned to be happy," said Brock. A member of the Grand View 5th Ward, Provo Utah Grandview Stake, he is now a student at Utah Valley State College. "It helps life in every way." — Shaun Stahle

Illustration by John Clark.

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