Service—the Best Medicine
January 2019

“Service—the Best Medicine,” Ensign, January 2019

Serving in the Church

Service—the Best Medicine

The author lives in Antofagasta, Chile.

One of the best ways we can face difficult challenges is to give heartfelt service to others.

mother and little boy

I have always had a strong testimony of the gospel and the truthfulness of its principles and ordinances. But a while back, for a number of reasons, I became very discouraged—about everything.

I also became selfish and started thinking only of myself. As a result, my view of life became narrow and limited. I knew that if I trusted in my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ, everything would be all right, but I didn’t know how to see beyond “the mist of darkness” (1 Nephi 8:24) that surrounded me.

One night, while pondering what I could do to free myself of my dark mood, the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley’s (1910–2008) father came to mind. When President Hinckley became discouraged from lack of success during his mission to England, his father wrote and told him, “Forget yourself and go to work.”1 Those six words pierced my heart. They were my answer.

In my somber mood, I had forgotten that many people were in worse circumstances than I was. I had forgotten that the best medicine for discouragement is service. Soon afterward, the Lord put numerous opportunities to serve others in my path.

I consoled a friend who was mourning her father’s death. I comforted another friend who was fighting depression. I helped a classmate who had doubts about the existence of God. I volunteered to care for children of Church members who couldn’t afford a babysitter. The Lord gave me opportunities as a visiting teacher to strengthen sisters who were poor in spirit, struggling financially, and feeling down. I took food to people in nursing homes. Finally, I volunteered to help with the stray-dog problem in my city.

As I helped others, like magic, my spirits lifted and I felt rejuvenated spiritually. I know that the “magic” that lifted my heart was the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ that I received through service. I testify that one of the best ways we can face difficult challenges is to give heartfelt service to others.


  1. See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley (2016), 7–8.