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Good deeds

A young adult recounted in a sacrament meeting talk an experience of having provided humanitarian service to residents of a leprosy colony in India. Among the people she met was a woman who had lost both hands to Hansens disease; she had been reading a book which lay open in front of her.
The young woman said that as she started to leave she asked the afflicted woman if there was anything she could do for her that day. The woman asked the young visitor if she would turn the page for her.
This account demonstrates the importance of service and the fact that no act of service is too small to be of benefit to someone else. Until she met the woman with no hands the young humanitarian probably never thought that service could consist of an act as simple as turning a page in a book.
Millions of acts of service are performed every day some heroic and others seemingly mundane. Media reports carry news of sensational acts of service among them the passerby who rescues a toddler from a flooded ditch the stranger who donates a kidney to save anothers life volunteers who join ranks to salvage homes or render aid and comfort in the aftermath of a disaster.
Sometimes we hardly notice what we have done to help others such as the woman who received a telephone call from an acquaintance who said I just wanted to thank you for all youve done to help me. The recipient of the call was puzzled; she could not recall doing anything for this individual. You always have something kind or complimentary to say to me said the caller. Your smile brightens my day. I feel so much better after our paths have crossed.
As with the page turner the woman who received the telephone call never thought of service coming in such little acts of kindness.
Three years ago we published on this page a Viewpoint that received the highest number of responses from readers in recent years. In part we wrote:
People help each other in small towns large cities rural settlements remote villages and within family units social circles and work environments. They visit the homebound; drive the elderly to doctors appointments; do grocery shopping for those who cant go to stores themselves; mop floors wash dishes and prepare meals for those who are sick or just too overwhelmed to perform their own household tasks; and mow lawns in summer shovel sidewalks in winter and run errands year-round for those who cant do so themselves or as gestures of friendship.
Many tend young children so parents can have much-needed breaks; volunteer in schools service organizations hospitals and other venues; write letters and send cards to those who are bedridden imprisoned or otherwise cut off from society; telephone and visit the lonely; cook and deliver meals to the hungry; and invite into their homes those who have no place else to go.
There is no paper long enough to contain the list of good deeds performed daily. Some are heroic and extraordinary while others are routine and seemingly mundane. Many people travel great distances to serve their fellowmen — to feed the hungry clothe the naked comfort those that mourn — while still more simply go next door across the street or into the next room to succor the weak lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees (Doctrine and Covenants 81:5).
Latter-day Saints and fellow Christians are joined by people of numerous faiths and even some non-believers in the performance of kind deeds. Time and again we see Christians Jews Muslims Buddhists and followers of various religions band together to serve specific needs in their communities and across the world.
Without doubt the Lord never intended that compassion kindness and charity be demonstrated only by apostles prophets seventies stake presidents bishops and others called as leaders in His Church. Certainly He expects these characteristics and behaviors of all His children. . . .
Nearly everywhere we look we can find something we can do and evidence of good done by others. Our deeds ought always to be numbered among those that enable people to say that there is much that is right about the world today

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