- We live in a culture where more and more we are focused on the small, little screen in our hands than we are on the people around us. We have substituted texting and tweeting for actually looking someone in the eye and smiling or, even rarer, having a face-to-face conversation. We are often more concerned with how many followers and likes we have than with putting an arm around a friend and showing love, concern, and tangible interest. As amazing as modern technology can be for spreading the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and helping us stay connected to family and friends, if we are not vigilant in how we use our personal devices, we too can begin to turn inward and forget that the essence of living the gospel is service.
She speaks about focusing on the needs of those in our families, ward, and communities. We all want to make a significant impact in the world but that impact is most often best done in our local communities.
- I believe that most members consider service to be at the heart of their covenants and discipleship. But I also think that sometimes it’s easy to miss some of the greatest opportunities to serve others because we are distracted or because we are looking for ambitious ways to change the world and we don’t see that some of the most significant needs we can meet are within our own families, among our friends, in our wards, and in our communities.
- We are touched when we see the suffering and great needs of those halfway around the world, but we may fail to see there is a person who needs our friendship sitting right next to us in class.
Sister Oscarson reminds us that Heavenly Father knows us and knows who we can help that are closest to us.
- Heavenly Father may have placed those who need us closest to us, knowing that we are best suited to meet their needs.
Sister Oscarson offers advice to youth throughout the world.
- For those in your teen years, strengthening and serving your family members should be among your top priorities as you look for ways to change the world. Showing kindness and concern for your siblings and parents helps create an atmosphere of unity and invites the Spirit into the home. Changing the world begins with strengthening your own family.
Finally, Sister Oscarson talks about why we attend our church meetings. She encourages us to look for those that need our help and not focus exclusively on our own personal needs.
- It is true that we attend our weekly Church meetings to participate in ordinances, learn doctrine, and be inspired, but another very important reason for attending is that, as a ward family and as disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ, we watch out for one another, encourage one another, and find ways to serve and strengthen each other. We are not just receivers and takers of what is offered at church; we are needed to be givers and suppliers.
- Pray for help in recognizing those in your ward families who need love and encouragement. Instead of attending church with the question of “What am I going to get out of this meeting?” ask, “Who needs me today? What do I have to contribute?”
Sometimes the best service we can give is in our neighborhoods instead of reaching out during extraordinary events. Sister Oscarson's encouragement to look for someone that needs a friend or someone that is lonely or needs some encouragement is great advice for each of us. We should focus our service efforts in our local wards and when we feel it necessary to reach out beyond our wards, we should give generously to fast offerings and the Humanitarian Aid Fund. The Lord knows who we can help and allows us to be places in the path of those we can effect. We should seek the guidance of the Spirit to know who we can help.