"Stand close together and lift where you stand" — instructions to a group of men trying to move a piano in a meetinghouse — served as the theme for President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, as he spoke in the Saturday evening priesthood session.
"Although it may seem simple, lifting where we stand is a principle of power," he said, adding that most priesthood holders he knows understand and live the principle in faithfully serving others.
"There are those, however, who sometimes struggle with this concept. And when they do, they seem to fall into one of two camps: either they seek to lead, or they seek to hide. They covet a crown or a cave."
Those wanting to lead believe they are capable of doing more than currently asked and their abilities surpass their calling. Meanwhile, those wanting to hide claim to be too busy to serve.
"Oddly enough, often the root cause of both of these tendencies — seeking to lead or seeking to hide — may be the same: selfishness," President Uchtdorf said, adding there is a better way and a greater example.
"When we seek to serve others, we are motivated not by selfishness but by charity — we lift where we stand. This is the way Jesus Christ lived His life and the way a holder of the priesthood must live his."
In spite of the Savior's example, "we too easily and too often get caught up in seeking the honors of men rather than serving the Lord with all our might, mind and strength." Further, he said, "The Lord judges so very differently from the way we do. He is pleased with the noble servant, not with the self-serving 'noble."'
President Uchtdorf cited the 2,000 warrior "sons" of Helaman — all unnamed, but forever remembered for their honesty, courage and selfless service.
"When we stand close together and lift where we stand, when we care more for the glory of the kingdom of God than for our own prestige or pleasure, we can accomplish so much more."
Every calling is both an opportunity to serve and to grow, with the Church organized so each member has that opportunity, he said.
"You may feel that there are others who are more capable or more experienced who could fulfill your callings and assignments better than you can," President Uchtdorf said, "but the Lord gave you your responsibilities for a reason. There may be people and hearts only you can reach and touch. Perhaps no one else could do it in quite the same way."
President Uchtdorf's closing call mirrored his caution to those who seek to lead or seek to hide: "Brethren, may we cease to aspire and cease to retire."
Just as one should not try to lift a piano by oneself, "none of us should move the Lord's work alone," he said. "But if we all stand close together in the place the Lord has appointed and lift where we stand, nothing can keep this divine work from moving upward and forward."