The Mark of True Discipleship: A Desire to Serve

By Tiffany Tolman

These days you won’t find Corlie Ann Pead gardening, reading, or watching her favorite programs on the couch. Instead, you will find her, along with her husband, Brian, serving a full-time senior mission in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple. But her choice to serve in Johannesburg came as a natural extension of a lifetime of service in various capacities, including two meaningful Church-service missions.

Service has always been a way of life for the Peads. After each served a full-time mission in France and Belgium, the Peads married and raised seven children. But their family responsibilities didn’t hinder their Church service. In addition to various callings, including time as stake and ward missionaries, the Peads also volunteered whenever they could. They spent time in their local Church-operated cannery, mill, and bishops’ storehouse, inspired by the selfless service of Church-service missionaries who worked there regularly. They also volunteered to be tour guides at the Provo Utah Temple, and Brian served as a limited-time temple worker in the Manti Utah Temple.

As their children grew, Corlie Ann decided that a Church-service mission would be a perfect fit for her changing family circumstances. When her youngest child was in junior high school, Corlie Ann served a Church-service mission from her home in Orem, Utah, using her background in English and other languages to mark Church materials for translation. During the two weeks prior to each general conference, she also collated conference talks and delivered them to the translators to help them be prepared for conference. She shared, “It just goes to show that people can do anything. It wasn’t skilled labor, but it verifies that the Lord needs all kinds of service to move His kingdom forward.”

Some years later, Corlie Ann served another Church-service mission in Church and Family History. She volunteered one day a week on various projects, including cataloging items acquired by the Church History Department. These Church-service missions allowed Corlie Ann to contribute to the Lord’s work while awaiting Brian’s retirement and also fueled her desire to serve a full-time mission with him in the future.

Now the Peads are serving their second full-time mission together in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple, having already completed a mission in New York City as employment specialists. Corlie Ann shared that many of her friends wonder at their ability to serve full-time missions. “How do you dare go?” they often ask. But she kindly reminds them that the Lord needs everyone’s service and that a Church-service mission is a great place to start. For Corlie Ann, her service as a Church-service missionary solidified her desire to take the next step as a full-time senior missionary. To her, serving is a way to become refined and more like the Savior. “Has the Savior ever done anything but serve?” she asked. “His whole work is us; so at the very least, to become like Him we try to be about service.”

What have these Church-service missions and full-time missions done for the Peads? They believe the missions have made them more accepting, understanding, loving, and culturally well rounded. And most important, the Peads have come to understand with clarity that God truly does love all His children. They are grateful for these opportunities to serve in small ways. For them, their service has been a practical way to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and has brought them a “worldful of blessings.”