“Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time, without Delay,” Liahona, Nov. 2011, 14–15
In our day many people are living in the midst of sadness and great confusion. They are not finding answers to their questions and are unable to meet their needs. Some have lost a sense of happiness and joy. The prophets have declared that true happiness is found in following the example and teachings of Christ. He is our Savior, He is our teacher, and He is the perfect example.
His was a life of service. When we serve our neighbor, we help those who are in need. In the process we may find solutions to our own difficulties. As we emulate the Savior, we show our love to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and we become more like Them.
King Benjamin spoke of the value of service, saying that when we are “in the service of [our] fellow beings [we] are only in the service of [our] God.”1 Everyone has opportunities to give service and show love.
President Thomas S. Monson has asked us to go “to the rescue” and serve others. He said: “We will discover that those whom we serve, who have felt through our labors the touch of the Master’s hand, somehow cannot explain the change which comes into their lives. There is a desire to serve faithfully, to walk humbly, and to live more like the Savior. Having received their spiritual eyesight and glimpsed the promises of eternity, they echo the words of the blind man to whom Jesus restored sight, who said, ‘One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.’”2
Each day we have the opportunity to give help and service—doing the right thing at the right time, without delay. Think of the many people who have a difficult time obtaining a job or who are ill, who feel lonely, who even think that they have lost everything. What can you do to help? Imagine that a neighbor, caught out in the rain with his car broken down, calls you for assistance. What is the right thing to do for him? When is the right time to do it?
I recall an occasion when we went as a family to downtown Mexico City to buy clothing for our two children. They were very young. Our older son was just barely two years old, and the younger son was a year old. The street was crowded with people. While we were shopping, leading our children by the hand, we stopped for a moment to look at something, and without realizing it, we lost our older son! We did not know how, but he was not with us. Without a moment’s delay, we took off running to look for him. We searched and called out for him, feeling great anguish, thinking that we might lose him forever. In our minds we were pleading for Heavenly Father to help us find him.
After a little while we found him. There he was, innocently looking at toys through a store window. We hugged and kissed him, and we made the commitment to watch over our children diligently so that we would never lose one again. We learned that in order to go to our son’s rescue, we did not need planning meetings. We simply acted, going out in search of the one who had been lost. We also learned that our son never even realized that he was lost.
Brothers and sisters, there may be many who, for some reason, are lost from our sight and who do not know that they are lost. If we delay, we could lose them forever.
For many who have need of our help, it is not necessary to create new programs or take actions which are complicated or costly. They only need our determination to serve—to do the right thing at the right time, without delay.
When the Savior appeared to the people of the Book of Mormon, He gave us a great example about not waiting to administer relief to those who have lost a sense of happiness and joy. Having taught the people, He saw that they were unable to understand all His words. He invited them to go to their homes and ponder the things that He had said to them. He told them to pray to the Father and prepare themselves to come again on the morrow, when He would return to teach them.3
As He concluded, He looked upon the multitude and saw them weeping, for they longed for Him to stay with them.
“And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.
“Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.”4
And they brought their sick to Him, and He healed them. The multitude bowed down at His feet and worshipped Him and kissed His feet, “insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.” Then He commanded them that their little children should be brought, and He blessed them one by one.5 That is the model the Savior has given us. His love is for all, but He never loses sight of the one.
I know that our Heavenly Father is loving, understanding, and patient. His Son, Jesus Christ, likewise loves us. They render help to us through Their prophets. I have learned that there is great safety in following the prophets. “The rescue” is still going on. President Monson said: “The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion.”6
We have a responsibility and a great opportunity. There are many who need to once again experience the sweet savor of happiness and joy through activity in the Church. That happiness comes from receiving the ordinances, making sacred covenants, and keeping them. The Lord needs us to help them. Let us do the right thing at the right time, without delay.
I testify that God lives and is our Father. Jesus Christ lives and has given His life so that we may return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. I know that He is our Savior. I know that Their infinite kindness is continually made manifest. I bear witness that President Thomas S. Monson is Their prophet and that this is the only true Church upon the face of the earth. I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration. I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It gives us guidance and models to follow in order to become more like God and His Beloved Son. I so declare in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen.