Tuesday, October 03, 2017

to change the world

Life seems particularly tragic right now, doesn't it? As I was settling down to sleep last night, thinking about what happened in Las Vegas and elsewhere, the words of Sister Oscarson's talk from Saturday morning's conference session were ringing in my ear and bringing me comfort.

She said, "An aspect of service for all of us who have watched news of recent events and felt helpless to know what to do ... might actually be right before us. The Savior taught, 'For whosoever will save his life will lose it: and whosever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.' President Thomas S. Monson said of this scripture, 'I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives.'"

Sister Oscarson continued, "It is sometimes 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 next to us in class."

And then she related the story of a woman in the 1990s who, with her daughter, rounded up quilts and drove a truck full of them from London to Kosovo. On her way home, the woman had a distinct impression that said, "What you have done is a very good thing. Now go home, walk across the street, and serve your neighbor."

Sister Oscarson said, "What good does it do to save the world if we neglect the needs of those closest to us?"

And then this, "Changing the world begins with strengthening your own family."

"As you strive to become more like the Savior Jesus Christ and live your covenants, you will continue to be blessed with desires to relieve suffering and help the who are less fortunate. Remember that some of the greatest needs may be those right in front of you. Begin your service in your own homes, with your own families. These are the relationships that can be eternal."

I guess it can all be summed up in that wonderful quote from Mother Teresa--"What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."

I can't change what happened in Las Vegas, and I can't help rebuild Puerto Rico, but I can love my family more. I can be a better neighbor. I can be more generous in my fast offerings.

You can watch Sister Oscarson's entire talk here.


  1. That was great. I love that

  2. I loved her talk too! I totally agree. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone took better care of those closest to them? I think a lot of social problems would be avoided if everyone had someone looking out for them.


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