Why Do We Serve?
April 2024

“Why Do We Serve?,” Liahona, Apr. 2024.

Aging Faithfully

Why Do We Serve?

Members share how service helps us grow, listen to the Spirit, and become an instrument in the Lord’s hands in blessing the lives of others.

Do you ever stop to ask yourself why you serve? It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and service in the Church, but is there a deeper meaning to our daily acts? Service teaches us about ourselves. If we listen to the Spirit, we can explore our capacity to love and become more charitable. The Spirit instructs us as we serve, and we are more in tune with ourselves and others.

The following members share what they’ve learned through service.

Debra and Mike O’Neil

Photographs courtesy of the authors

The Spirit Guides Our Service

We had completed all the forms for a full-time mission just before the world shut down with COVID-19. We didn’t want to get to the mission field and be sent right back home, so we met with our stake president and the Arcadia California Mission president, where we lived, to see if we could serve locally. We were immediately called to be the housing coordinators.

Just a few weeks after we began, planeloads of missionaries returned from around the world, either to be released from their missions or reassigned in the United States. The number of full-time missionaries in the Arcadia mission grew from 180 to 250. We scrambled to find housing for everyone, but the Spirit guided us.

Life experiences seem directed by the Lord to prepare us for service opportunities. Because of Relief Society, I knew sisters in the surrounding stakes who could help with zone conference luncheons. When a homeless girl appeared on the steps of the mission office, I knew the local resources that could give her aid. My husband, Mike, also had connections in the area to find solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems, from finding swimming pools for outdoor baptisms to fixing dishwashers.

Mike and I serve because we promised to devote our time and talents to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a blessing to love our 250 missionaries, and we are grateful for the opportunity. Service has brought us closer to Christ (see Moroni 7:44–48).

Debra and Mike O’Neil, California, USA

Izabel de Queiroz Martins Silva with others

Family History and Temple Service Give Us Joy

Before the dedication of the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple in 2022, our Relief Society wanted to help the families have names ready for the opening. Through personal meetings and online lessons, we helped everyone find ancestors.

My greatest joy was seeing each family prepare for the temple. My soul was filled with love for the Savior and with gratitude to be able to help others connect their families through temple ordinances.

Izabel de Queiroz Martins Silva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brent and Julie Hill

Service Blesses Those in Need

We recently served as international relations missionaries, working with foreign diplomats at the United Nations. We felt humbly blessed to meet so many loving, caring people from around the world seeking to serve their countrymen.

We had the privilege of dispersing the Light the World Giving Machine funds to recipients throughout the world, through UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere).

We could feel the Spirit as we told leaders that our granddaughter was serving a mission in Guatemala and helped deliver chickens, purchased through Giving Machines, to those in need. What a blessing to know that families had eggs to eat or sell as they wished.

Brent and Julie Hill, New York, USA

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said the Lord “invites us to be His hands, to go about doing good.”1 What a privilege for us to serve on behalf of the Savior. As we ponder the meaning of our service, the Savior’s light will lead us to a greater understanding of His love.

The author lives in Utah, USA.


  1. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “God among Us,” Liahona, May 2021, 10.