Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Forget Yourself and Go to Work

There's a story told frequently about the 15th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley. When he was a young man, he went to serve as a missionary in England. While he was there, he was discouraged and felt that he wasn't doing very well in the work and thought he should come home. He wrote of his concerns to his father. President Hinckley then received a letter back and his father replied, "Forget yourself and go to work." President Hinckley took his advice and was very successful in his work throughout his life.

I remembered this story recently as I've been trying to figure out how to do everything I want and need to do. I've been focusing on how to meet my needs, like a regular sleep schedule and exercise time, so I can feel more energetic and help my family with what they need. I haven't been very successful and that has been discouraging. After thinking about it, I've decided that I might be tackling this problem in the wrong way.

Another quote comes to mind from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, current second counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church. He said, "As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness...In today’s world of pop psychology, junk TV, and feel-good self-help manuals, this advice may seem counterintuitive. We are sometimes told that the answer to our ills is to look inward, to indulge ourselves, to spend first and pay later, and to satisfy our own desires even at the expense of those around us. While there are times when it is prudent to look first to our own needs, in the long run it doesn’t lead to lasting happiness."
(Happiness, Your Heritage, General Relief Society Meeting, September 2008)

I know from experience that when I help others, I forget about my own troubles and challenges and I feel better in general. So, I'm going to try to focusing more on my family's needs first and then see if by doing that, I'll meet my own needs, too. I may or may not let you know how it goes. We'll see.


Brechtefeld's said...

I really like the President Hinckly's father's advice to him. I first learned about that story when I was a missionary. That's so true that when you are serving others, our minds tend not to forcus too much on our own problems. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Millie said...

Great post! I've been having a really hard morning and finally broke down, cried, and prayed for some help. The words "Forget yourself and go to work" later came to my mind, and really helped.

E said...

I'm glad it helped, Millie. Thanks for reading.