To serve God is to serve others and is the greatest form of charity: the pure love of Christ. Jesus Christ said, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34). This list gives 15 ways in which we can serve God by serving others.
1. Serve God Through Your FamilyTo serve God starts with serving in our families. Daily we work, clean, love, support, listen to, teach, and endlessly give of ourselves to the members of our family. We may often feel overwhelmed with all that we must do, but Elder M. Russell Ballard gave the following counsel:
"The key... is to know and understand your own capabilities and limitations and then to pace yourself, allocating and prioritizing your time, your attention, and your resources to wisely help others, including your family..." ("O Be Wise," Ensign, Nov 2006, 17–20).As we lovingly give of ourselves to our family, and serve them with hearts full of love, our acts will also be counted as service to God.
2. Give Tithes and OfferingsOne of the ways we can serve God is by helping his children, our brothers and sisters, through paying a tithing and a generous fast offering. Money from tithing is used to build God's kingdom upon the earth. Contributing financially to God's work is a great way to serve God. Money from fast offerings is directly used to help the hungry, thirsty, naked, stranger, sick, and afflicted (see Matt 25:34-36) both those locally and world wide. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has helped millions of people through their amazing humanitarian efforts. All this service has only been possible through both the financial and physical support of many volunteer as people serve God by serving their fellowman.
3. Volunteer in Your CommunityThere are countless ways to serve God by serving in your community. From donating blood (or just volunteering at the Red Cross) to adopting a highway, your local community has great need for your time and efforts. President Spencer W. Kimball counseled us to be careful not to select causes who's primary focus is selfish:
"When you select causes to devote your time and talents and treasure to, be careful to select good causes... which will produce much joy and happiness for you and for those you serve" ("President Kimball Speaks Out on Service to Others, New Era, Mar 1981, 47).You can easily become involved in your community, it only takes a little effort to contact a local group, charity, or other community program.
4. Home and Visiting TeachingFor members of the Church of Jesus Christ, visiting each other through the Home and Visiting teaching programs is a vital way we have been asked to serve God by caring for one another.
"Home teaching opportunities provide a means by which an important aspect of character may be developed: love of service above self. We become more like the Savior, who has challenged us to emulate His example: 'What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am' (3 Ne. 27:27)..." (Russell M. Nelson, "Shepherds, Lambs, and Home Teachers," Ensign, Aug 1994, 15).As we give of ourselves in the service of God and others we will be greatly blessed.
5. Donate Clothing and Other GoodsAll throughout the world there are places to donate your unused clothing, shoes, dishes, blankets/quilts, toys, furniture, books, and other items. Generously giving of these items to help others is an easy way to serve God and declutter your home at the same time. When preparing those things you are going to donate it is always appreciated if you only give those items that are clean and in working order. Donating dirty, broken, or useless items is less effective and takes precious time from volunteers and other workers as they sort and organize the items to be distributed or sold to others. Stores that resell donated items usually offer much needed jobs to the less fortunate which is another excellent form of service.
6. Be a FriendOne of the simplest and easiest ways to serve God and others is by befriending one another.
"As we take the time to serve and be friendly, we’ll not only support others but also build a network of support for ourselves. Make others feel at home, and soon you’ll feel at home..." (Kimberly Webb, "On Your Own but Not Alone," Ensign, Jun 2007, 25–27).Who doesn't love and need friends? Let's make a new friend today!
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said:
"Kindness is the essence of greatness and the fundamental characteristic of the noblest men and women I have known. Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and molds relationships that can last lifetimes" ("The Virtue of Kindness," Ensign, May 2005, 26).
7. Serve God by Serving ChildrenSo many children and teenagers need our love- and we can give it! There are many programs to become involved with helping children and you can easily become a school or library volunteer. Imagine what the Savior "would do for our children if he were here. The Savior’s example... [applies] to all of us—whether we love and serve children in our families, as neighbors or friends, or at church. Children belong to all of us" (Michaelene P. Grassli, "'Behold Your Little Ones'," Ensign, Nov 1992, 92).
"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God"(Luke 18:16).Jesus Christ loves children and so too should we love and serve them.