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Episode 62: Service at Christmas and beyond, with JustServe Global Manager Heath Bradley


During the Christmas season — marked by celebrations of the birth and life of Jesus Christ — many turn their focus on serving others. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints connects people across the globe to service opportunities with an inspired initiative called JustServe. This episode of the Church News podcast features Heath Bradley, the global manager of JustServe, to talk about service this Christmas season and every day of the year. 

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Transcript

Heath Bradley: One of the things that gets me passionate and gets me excited about the JustServe initiative is really to understand that as we look at preparation for the return of our Savior. What are some of the conditions that we see in the scriptures that need to happen? Peace, love, unity — the JustServe initiative helps communities. This is not just those that are members of the Church, but the whole human race comes together in love, peace and unity. It breaks down any barriers, it breaks down how people feel. Our differences really aren’t differences as we serve, and I feel like this tool will help the world prepare for the return of our Lord and Savior.

0:55  

Sarah Jane Weaver: I’m Sarah Jane Weaver, editor of the Church News and welcome to the Church News podcast. We are taking you on a journey of connection as we discuss news and events of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

As we begin this episode of the Church News podcast, I want to wish all of our listeners a Merry Christmas. This is a time of year, as we celebrate the birth and life of Jesus Christ, that so many of us turn our focus on serving others. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints connects people across the globe to service opportunities with an inspired initiative called JustServe. This episode of the Church News podcast features Heath Bradley, the global manager of JustServe, to talk about service this Christmas season and every day of the year. Welcome, Heath, to the Church News podcast.

Heath Bradley: Happy to be with you, thank you so much for having me.

Sarah Jane Weaver: Well, and for our listeners who don’t know or aren’t familiar with JustServe, can you give kind of an overview of what it is and how it works?

1:59  

Heath Bradley: So JustServe is a platform, a tool and exchange that essentially takes, on one hand, organizations and the community that need help. So we have organizations that run the spectrum from food pantries, soup kitchens, to organizations that need letters written to veterans, and have service needs. And then we connect volunteers, and so if you want to volunteer, you want to find something that would bring purpose and meaning, something extra that you can do this holiday season or during the year, something that teaches your family how to build this habit of service, you go on to JustServe, onto the website or an app [found in the Apple Store and Google Play]. You register, and then you can actually search out what is important to you. I think that’s really important to know, that you can customize. We have filters built in. Everyone serves for a different reason, and that’s okay. What we’re planning is that, some people say, “If I’m going to serve, I want to have a personal touch on an organization.” It’s maybe not about the end user, but helping the organization, while others maybe want to serve for inclusion, to make new friends, or some have other motives to serve, to, “Hey, I’ll serve, but I want it to be a good experience.” All the organizations are at different levels, have different sizes. You have some larger organizations like the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, who are really succinct in their experiences, and then there’s some smaller organizations. And so there’s something there for everyone. It’s sorted by zip code, you can search it by looking for a project within one mile of me, within five miles, within 20 miles, I don’t care if I’ve got to drive 25 miles, I want the right experience. And so it’s been something that’s just been improved time and time again, and so we’re just really excited about providing those opportunities to serve.

Heath Bradley, global manager of JustServe, and Elder Kevin W. Pearson, Utah Area President, with a young volunteer as a bell is rung to celebrate another packaged box of meals at the Silicon Slopes Serves event on Oct. 14, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Heath Bradley, global manager of JustServe, and Elder Kevin W. Pearson, Utah Area President, with a young volunteer as a bell is rung to celebrate another packaged box of meals at the Silicon Slopes Serves event on Oct. 14, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sarah Jane Weaver: I have always been amazed that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, developed this tool, this path, this initiative that helps people connect to opportunities for service and helps organizations connect with those who want to serve. Well, as we start today, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey that brought you to Church employment, and how you came to work with JustServe?

Heath Bradley: So I served a mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and when I returned, I thought to myself, “I have two career paths. I could go to college and I could start a business. Which one should I do?” Well, I decided that I would do both with a goal that by the end of my college degree at ASU in business marketing services, marketing, if my business was large enough that I wouldn’t have to get a job somewhere, that would be my decision, and we would let the Lord provide that and I would work, so I worked full-time and went to school full-time. And at the end of that, I found out that I had a company that was doing over $2 million a year within my sophomore year, and decided to pursue business. And so I grew my company and had an exit in 2012 from our company in Arizona, and found myself golfing and wondering, “What am I doing with my life?” 

When I was starting the company, I told the Lord in my personal prayers that this was not my company, it was His and the fruits thereof would be His. If we were successful, we would be generous and donate and do things. One of the things I didn’t realize that I might actually be that fruit, and so when I sold the company and we had our exit, I was connected with Elder Robert C. Gay (at the time, a General Authority Seventy), who was the pioneer of the self-reliance initiative back in its early days, and he had just finished, with his team, the pilots in the Caribbean and Africa and was looking to expand the self-reliance initiative internationally. And so within a short order of time, he said, “Come up here and help us roll this self-reliance initiative out internationally.” And it’s that point where I felt the Lord say, “Yeah, you are the fruits.” And I had a confirmation in my heart that I needed to leave my business associations and head up and help with this self-reliance initiative, and spent three years traveling to establish and train and help all those involved in the self-reliance initiative. It was one of the most blessed experiences of my life, and the reason being because I was able to see the Lord’s hand not only work in my life through that, but in the lives of thousands of people on all continents. Just one of the most miraculous, testimony-building events of my life up to that point.

Later on, the welfare and self-reliance departments merged and I found myself in Latter-day Saint Charities as the strategic relationship manager over Latter-day Saint Charities. Within six to nine months after learning that and working hand-in-hand with the leadership, Blaine Maxfield, the managing director, took me to Elder Richard J. Maynes’ (General Authority Seventy) office in the (Church Administration Building), and asked if I would take the lead role in JustServe and bringing it to the next level. And I was sitting there listening and felt the Spirit confirm to me that I should accept and that I should put my entrepreneurial talents to work using everything that the Lord’s given me.

Volunteers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany organize items for Afghan refugees donated by Latter-day Saint Charities.

Volunteers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany organize items for Afghan refugees donated by Latter-day Saint Charities.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sarah Jane Weaver: So I love that this journey took you from self-reliance to another initiative that helps facilitate service between Church members and others around the globe.

7:39  

Heath Bradley: Really, the premise for JustServe is really on the first and second great commandments, the commandment to love God and then love your neighbor, and as we look at loving our neighbor, what does that really mean? And one of the things that gets me passionate and gets me excited about the JustServe initiative is really to understand that as we look at the preparation for the return of our Savior, what are some of the conditions that we see in the scriptures that need to happen? Peace, love, unity, Zion. We talk about a Zion society. My question is, and what gets me excited is, the JustServe initiative helps communities. This is not just those that are members of the Church, but the whole human race comes together in love, peace and unity. It breaks down any barriers, it breaks down how people feel. Our differences really aren’t differences as we serve, and so from a high-level vision, I feel like the work of JustServe, of being out in the community, of developing this tool, will help the world prepare for the return of our Lord and Savior. It’s very exciting to me, as we look at the first and second great commandment, as we serve, we build these habits of service, and the JustServe initiative, the website, the apps, both iOS and Android, help you build habits of service that feed back to that vision of the first and second great commandment. And so that really gets me excited.

Sarah Jane Weaver: Well, and we all focus on service, especially at Christmas time. Our thoughts turn to the Savior and all He did for us and we want to give back. So let’s talk about the power of service and why so many people are inclined to give service especially at Christmas time.

9:22  

Heath Bradley: Christmas time brings out something within each of us that helps us refocus our lives on what’s most important. And I really believe that focusing on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as for those of all faiths, is really helping each other focus on our fellow man. It’s miraculous to see everyone come together in unity during Christmas time. It’s been particularly interesting to watch how people’s hearts soften and change. During Christmas we get, in some cases, our neighbors that maybe aren’t always out and about or as sociable come and talk, and it opens hearts. And so that’s what I really love about Christmas time, it’s an opportunity to connect and reconnect. 

And as it relates to service, I think everyone looks within themselves and a particular scripture really comes to mind is one around gratitude. And it talks about — at least the way I frame it up — is that as gratitude is an act of faith, and when we are grateful, we also then put ourselves in a position to show faith. And so there’s two scriptures I’ve been studying. One is Doctrine and Covenants 59:21 that sets up that it’s important to be grateful, and it talks about how in nothing doth man offend God or against none is His wrath kindled save those who confess not His hand in all things and obey not His commandments. And for me, I’ve taken that to say, “I want to have an active focus on being grateful, I want to, what Elder Eyring said here in the last few years, looking for His hand every day.” So I’ve had an active focus. And I think people around Christmas time have an active focus to look for God’s hand. And then what I love about that is when you look firsthand, you develop gratitude as an act of faith. And what we learn in Doctrine and Covenants 78:19 says, “And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” And so there’s this dynamic around Christmas around being grateful, being thankful that really, I think, brings out the best in our souls and who we are, and our divine nature. And that’s what I really love about service. And it comes out in service, is what I’m trying to get at. We’re more present to other people’s needs, we’re more present to our own needs as well, and are able and have that extra “umph” to communicate that to other people. And it’s just a wonderful time of year.

Sarah Jane Weaver: I’m thankful that you mentioned President Henry B. Eyring’s invitation for us to all be grateful. He asked us to actually keep journals where we record some of that so that we can remember so that our families can remember. Certainly, President Russell M. Nelson also extended an invitation last November for us to give thanks and show thanks. And I love that we started this podcast with you saying, ”There are things that I was doing after I sold my business that were rather unfulfilling.” I’m not saying that golf isn’t fulfilling, but maybe golf every day wasn’t meeting your needs. And so you found a path that allowed you to serve and give back.

12:36  

Heath Bradley: If I could just comment on that: It was really interesting that that’s exactly what I was looking for as a way to be a resource and the Lord’s storehouse. And I think we can all be a resource in the Lord’s storehouse, and we can do it right where we live, we don’t necessarily need to go and work for the Church or potentially go on a trip somewhere. In fact, what’s interesting to me, what ties into this topic, and also that we’re all one human family, and where are we at in our lives. In Acts 17:26-27, I’ll paraphrase it but I wanted to point out this theme and this topic of serving where we’re at. In Acts 17, it says, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed.” So we’re all one human family, and where we’re at, where we live today, it seems that it’s not a coincidence that we live where we live, that we are in the cities we’re in, the maybe even the neighborhoods that we’re in. And then it goes on in verse 27: “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they should seek after him, and find him,” and so it’s quite profound for me to think about service and the Lord has us in our work, in our home life and our social interactions, for us to be a light to the world. We’re where we’re supposed to be. I just love that scripture in Acts because it says, “Hey, you’re there and now how could we be a light unto all nations, right where we are at?” In our communities, in our neighborhoods, with our children, with our families, with our youth in our schools and our colleges, were where we’re supposed to be for a reason. So now what can we do about that?

Sarah Jane Weaver: And isn’t it beautiful that you use the word family? When we think of service, we’re part of a global family. We’re part of a church family. We have communities that we have responsibilities for, we have neighborhoods. Sister Sharon Eubank, who is a counselor in the Relief Society general presidency and also has responsibilities now for JustServe, has said that it is important and that when we serve, we need to have relationships, that we can best serve when we have relationships. So, let’s talk about that. How do we form relationships? How do we connect with people in a way that allows us to serve them in meaningful ways?

15:03  

Heath Bradley: I absolutely love that question. One of my favorite authors of a book around the second great commandment, his name is Dave Runyon. He’s not a member of our Church, and he wrote this wonderful book that I love and it’s called “The Art of Neighboring,” and the whole premise of it is that a bunch of pastors went to a certain city and said, “We are excited to be in front of you, what can we do to help the community?” And Sarah, do you know what? This mayor said back to them, he said, “Can you teach your members to live the Second Great Commandment?” And they were in shock: “What? No, no, no, we’re here to help you, and if your members actually knew their neighbors, knew their names, knew something about them, knew what was going on in your neighborhood, then we would have better communities, we’d be able to build and unite communities better, we wouldn’t have all the government programs, if you will, that we need to bring wheels on meals, because the neighbors would take care of each other.” And so as Dave and I were talking about that last week, I just found that fascinating, as we look at ourselves, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we’re really good about maybe doing our Church service and our ministry, but how can we reach out? How can we develop relationships? And I would just say, on a real simple level, let’s learn who’s around us. Let’s learn their names, let’s say hi, let’s engage with them at the level, meet our neighbors and friends and co-workers where they’re at and at the level of relationship that they would like to have. It just takes a little bit of effort to start that. I just thought that was just such a fascinating story.

President Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says gifts of service and love for others remind us and them of the true reason for the Christmas season, in a video message shared Dec. 16, 2021.

President Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says gifts of service and love for others remind us and them of the true reason for the Christmas season, in a video message shared Dec. 16, 2021.

Credit: Screenshot from President Russell M. Nelson’s message on YouTube

I think sometimes we get all geared up, like the purpose of, for example, meeting neighbors or building relationships is, “Oh, because I need to convert them.” I love this thought and this idea around that, is that we don’t love our neighbors to convert them. That’s not it. We love our neighbors because we are converted. And so I know a lot of people that I’ve talked to get hung up on, “Oh, well, I want to be authentic,” We can be authentic and that authenticity is called charity, is the pure love of Christ. And charity isn’t something we give away. I think sometimes growing up, we think, “Oh, being charitable is giving things away.” Charity, as (the late Church President) Harold B. Lee and many of the prophets and apostles have taught us over time — for me, charity is something that is acquired. It’s something that Harold B. Lee talks about, it’s something that becomes a part of you, it’s a part of your nature. And charity is just that, and so how do we build relationships? You talked about Sharon talking about relationships is how we show up to our relationship? Are we authentic, genuine, do we really care? And when we are converted to the gospel, and specifically on the journey to become like our Lord and Savior, we develop these attributes and that’s just who we are. I know several people that, when I think of the attributes that our Savior has, I’m like, “He’s got this one, she’s got this one.” And I see that and I want to acquire those as well.

Sarah Jane Weaver: You know, a few years ago, I had a personal experience where the Church had asked all of us to look out and help and seek to provide assistance to refugees coming into the communities. And I began praying about ways I could find someone to serve and support in that manner. And I remember getting a very direct answer to that prayer, that my Heavenly Father wanted me to focus my attention on a family member that was going through a personal struggle at that time, and it wasn’t the answer that I wanted. I wanted to do something that felt a little more romantic and exciting and didn’t want to be so committed to something that was personal and hard. I think so often, some of the hardest service is the service that’s closest to us. Can you comment on how we can find and seek the right kind of service for us at each given time in our life, and how that service can draw us closer to the Savior?

Read more: How service at Christmas changes hearts to last all year

19:10  

Heath Bradley: I would just say, for me, what has been — it’s something that the prophets and apostles have always said, and it’s landed for me here in the last three to five years — is that first of all, we’re all sons and daughters of God, and our value is whole. We’re whole and real to Him and that He loves us, and he loves each one of the people in our families. And understanding that, for me, has been a real big mind shift. The world teaches us that we’re our successes, we’re our failures, and that our value is up and down. And as we get a firm grasp — and that comes at different points in our lives, and it’s something that builds line upon line of our understanding — that we really see the significance of, as you talk about, Sarah, helping somebody personally in their journey is probably one of the most noble things you can do is to help an individual grow and really reconnect to God and to use the Atonement of the Savior in their lives to return to Him. That’s one of the most intimate things. And sometimes that can’t happen when somebody’s hungry, and so we need to give them food, shelter, emotional support, etc. I remember a time in my life when I was young, in Arizona, I had a single mom and two sisters living with us. And the way we paid the bills is, my mom had a minimum wage job and after school, we would have to get our homework done, and my mom got home by five o’clock, and from five to seven, we would go out and knock on doors and paint addresses on the curb. And this was a time where my mom had fallen away from the Church, and this was the Lord preparing her to return. And during these times, we had a lot of hardship and as she started reading the Book of Mormon again and started taking the Lord at His word, we started praying before we would paint addresses. And essentially, if we made $20, it would pay the bill and whatever would make over $20 that night would go towards food for the night. And so we were always praying that people would answer the door and help us. And there’s a particular moment in time where I recognized the Lord’s hand in my life, when we had been going for about 30 minutes, and no one would answer the doors, or they’d say no and shut the door. And we stopped in this intersection, a “T” intersection, and we had another prayer. It was the first time we said a second prayer. And my mom prayed, my two sisters prayed, and I prayed, and we went to this house that was catty-corner to us, and the lady answered the door and said, “I’ve been waiting for you.” “What?” We looked at ourselves, and she said, “The Lord told me some people were going to come by today, and that I should prepare things for them. Give me one second,” And no kidding — she brought out three large boxes of food and proceeded to say, “This isn’t from me, this is from the Lord. He is mindful of you. He loves you.” This isn’t a member of the Church. This is someone who’s connected with God and the Spirit. And then proceeds to say, “I went to the bank and I went through,” I can’t remember the amount of money but it was substantial, I want to say between $150 and $200, “Merry Christmas.”

And that moment will always be etched in my heart, that the Lord works through each of us. And that wasn’t a grand act. That wasn’t something necessarily found on JustServe. The Lord speaks to us and we look for His hand and we are His hands and we have the ability to help others in need, and that’s following the spirit. That’s one thing that I love about the ability to follow the Lord, follow His Spirit, and it’s miraculous, it’s miraculous. There’s benefits for those that receive, like in my stories, and also for those that give. Those that give are able to feel His love equally, in equal proportions. And much of the time, research shows that givers actually benefit more than those that receive, whether it’s through emotional, whether it’s through finding purpose in life, and there studies that elderly people will live longer if they serve after they’ve retired. There’s all sorts of research and study that goes to that. But being able to serve and be served is just a benefit. That’s a story for me that’s just touching to see the Lord’s hand, and we’re called to serve. We’re called to be a light to the world, and that’s my prayer. JustServe allows people other opportunities. It’s not often that someone’s going to receive the prompt like that lady, potentially every hour on the hour, and they’re just going to go about their day, handing out food and money to families, but the Lord’s in our lives. I share with you that I know the Lord is in everyone’s life and He’s just wanting us to connect to Him, and He will guide us and He’ll direct us in our service, whether it’s through the kind acts or lead us to JustServe to find something that will help us do something right where we live in our community.

Sarah Jane Weaver: When we all want to be good representatives of the Savior, Jesus Christ. We’ve taken upon His name when we joined His Church, and what a beautiful example of how that can work in our lives. So, so many of us want to do that. We want to have those blessings and we want to represent the Savior in a way that would bring Him joy and us joy, and so many people don’t know where to start, especially young people. They have this great desire to serve, and sometimes they don’t know exactly where to start. Now, that’s what I love about JustServe. So many young people are now taking advantage of this initiative as well. 

25:13  

Heath Bradley: Young people are in love with JustServe in two parts. One, because it’s a launchpad to find out: What are my interests in serving? What are the things that I like to do? With the changes in the college admissions, all these youth are being asked to write essays on what they have done differently? What have they done to serve? And so now, more than ever, and moving into the future, your ability to document your service, what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, where are you serving, is what’s differentiating these kids as they move forward in their life and get accepted into college. Very interesting. 

But it also is beneficial to them to find out what they do. They’ve been raised by righteous parents who have built in that habit of service. We see youth activities go on to JustServe, and find projects and fulfill them. For my daughter’s birthday party this year, she said, “Dad, I want to do a service project.” “You want to go bowling, do you — what do you want to do for your birthday?” “I want to do a service project.” I, myself, was in shock. “Brooklyn, really?” “Yeah, that’s what I want to do with all my friends.” This doctrine is just ingrained in our children, and it’s just special, it’s a great launchpad to learn, and what the youth are really liking is the opportunity to create service projects. There’s nobody better and more connected in our communities than our youth, than our high schools and our colleges to say, “Hey, I see a need, I want to do something about it.” And so they’re putting projects on JustServe as well. And so it’s just been awesome to see, not only the service rendered, but the ideating, finding projects, figuring out issues in the community that can be solved by a group. Some of these youth are going in and talking to — once they find an issue, they’re bringing together the right parties to solve it and getting the volunteers to go solve a local challenge. It’s just amazing to watch.

Missionaries converse among themselves as they participate in humanitarian service project event at Provo Missionary Training Center on Thanksgiving afternoon, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Provo, Utah.

Missionaries converse among themselves as they participate in humanitarian service project event at Provo Missionary Training Center on Thanksgiving afternoon, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in Provo, Utah.

Credit: Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

Sarah Jane Weaver: And we also have this powerful force of young adults, many who are just entering the workforce and have some extra time and resources, and they’re also finding JustServe to be a good vehicle to help connect them with service opportunities.

27:14  

Heath Bradley: Yeah, what’s so interesting is I talk to the young adults: “I’ve learned the gospel, I love the gospel, I love the doctrine, but I want to put it into action. What can — I want to live the gospel,” and that’s what’s really cool about JustServe, is it provides these opportunities for the youth to live the gospel, to have activities. For example, recently, there was a young adult activity that was brought to my attention over in Australia and New Zealand, and they put together these lamps for kids that don’t have lights. They got together, they found a need, and they filled it. It’s just so cool to see all over the world and Mexico and South America, and Argentina, they’re working on it in England – I mean, this isn’t something that’s unique to an initiative, this is the young adults around the world all have the same feelings and wants to chip in and want to live the gospel, and they’re finding service and service opportunities through JustServe.

Sarah Jane Weaver: And right now the Church has issued an invitation not just to its own members, but to the world, and that is to light the world. Let’s take this season when we focus on Jesus Christ, and let’s see if we can make it a little brighter, a little better, let’s reflect the light of the Savior in our actions. And so, we have Giving Machines and people can purchase things that will bless and strengthen other people, and those also have a connection to JustServe.

28:35  

Heath Bradley: The connection to JustServe and the Giving Machines are pretty neat. What comes to mind for me is, as the Giving Machines are about giving, and what can we give and what can we give, what can we do? Because we’re all blessed in giving and we’re equally blessed in doing. And so on the back of the receipt of the Giving Machine, after you’ve selected what you want to donate on the back, you’ll flip the receipt over, and there’s an invitation for everyone to now do something in their local community, to go on to JustServe and to do an act of service. And I think that’s so important because in giving and in doing are we blessed, and so we’re really excited to be part of the #LightTheWorld Giving Machine campaign and to be able to draw some attention to the doing part.

Families begin picking out items to donate at the Giving Machine in Gilbert, Arizona on November 29, 2021.

Families begin picking out items to donate at the Giving Machine in Gilbert, Arizona on November 29, 2021.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sarah Jane Weaver: And obviously, your hope is that all of us who are so good at doing during the Christmas season will carry that over and do some doing in January and the rest of 2022.

29:33  

Heath Bradley: Yeah, and that’s really the most important part of JustServe is the idea that all these nonprofits gear up for everyone wanting to give service during Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the real work to be done with the poor and those in need, and those that need help is year-round. So January, February, March, April, May, the whole year is where help is needed. And so the idea, what we’re hopeful for is those of us listening to this podcast or at the Giving Machines or any of our friends of other faiths that will engage in this living the second great commandment in our communities, and helping to unite our communities year-round, because there’s help that’s needed. Every nonprofit, every organization we talked about is like, “Man, if we could get people to volunteer year-round, even if it’s a small amount of time, that is so much more productive for us. That’s so needed. We need year-round volunteers, that really would help us be able to deliver on our promises as an organization, having that year-round volunteering.” So we’re trying to balance the two.

Sarah Jane Weaver: And on that note, we have a tradition at the Church News podcast. We ask all of our guests to answer the same question at the end of the podcast, and that question is, “What do you know now?” And so as we conclude, I’d love for you to share with us what you know now, after having the opportunity to focus on service and provide opportunities for other people to serve. And I hope you’ll share your testimony with us about the gospel of Jesus Christ. So what do you know now about service after working with JustServe?

31:04  

Heath Bradley: God is in the relationship between both the giver and the receiver of service, that both is God’s hands. And as we have the catalyst of service, that’s where God can change lives. I’ve never really looked at it that way until recently, to see that the opportunity to serve, as being God’s hand, the opportunity to receive service is being part of His hand, because the benefit to, as I talked about earlier, the giver is substantial, and has a long term impact. I believe that we are all literal sons and daughters of God, and that our wholeness is complete, that God looks at us and loves us for who we are as His spirit children, not our circumstances in life. And we have a duty, if you will, a covenant duty to lift up the hands that hang low, and on a personal level, to help and serve. And that service could be a smile, it could be a listening ear, or it could be in many forms. It could be in our community, to help bring the Church out of obscurity. It’s been fascinating to me to see the research studies that the gospel has had, research on service and how it blesses others through time. Mosiah, King Mosiah talks about it; and yet, a Harvard PhD article comes out and it’s like this huge news: “Oh, my goodness, service.” And basically restating what King Mosiah teaches us in our scriptures. How times have changed. We need articles to convince our fellow man of what God’s already taught us. I love the scriptures. I absolutely love the way that the Lord talks to us through the scriptures. We pray to Him, and He answers us through the scriptures. All of my questions, all of my concerns are answered in the scriptures as I approached them humbly and with a listening ear. 

I just want to bear my testimony of living prophets. I’m so excited about the restoration of the gospel, and that the gospel is being restored and so excited for our prophet, President Nelson, and that he is leading us through this restoration process. I feel like it’s just exciting. It’s new music. I don’t know. It just gets me excited about the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I want to bear my witness and my testimony that these last years working in self-reliance initiative and now through JustServe, that the Lord is guiding it. I’ve seen miracles upon miracles, when I thought something wasn’t going to happen or couldn’t get done because of my lack of faith or doubt or what have you, the Lord provides. He’s at the helm of the Church. I know that to be true. He’s at the helm of JustServe. I see it. I feel so blessed to see Him working through so many wonderful people. I share my testimony with everyone here that I know that Jesus is the Christ. I love Him. I’m grateful for Him. And I share that in His name, amen.

Sarah Jane Weaver: You have been listening to the Church News podcast. I’m your host, Church News editor Sarah Jane Weaver. I hope you have learned something today about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by peering with me through the Church News window. Please remember to subscribe to this podcast. And if you enjoyed the messages we shared today, please make sure you share the podcast with others. Thanks to our guests, to my producer KellieAnn Halvorsen and others who make this podcast possible. Join us every week for a new episode. Find us on your favorite podcasting channel or with other news and updates about the Church on TheChurchNews.com.

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