There is a wonderful story told about President Gordon B. Hinckley regarding the importance of working hard on his mission:
“I was not well when I arrived. Those first few weeks, because of illness and the opposition which we felt, I was discouraged. I wrote a letter home to my good father and said that I felt I was wasting my time and his money. He was my father and my stake president, and he was a wise and inspired man. He wrote a very short letter to me which said, ‘Dear Gordon, I have your recent letter. I have only one suggestion: forget yourself and go to work.’ Earlier that morning in our scripture class my companion and I had read these words of the Lord: ‘Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.’ (Mark 8:35.)
Those words of the Master, followed by my father’s letter with his counsel to forget myself and go to work, went into my very being. With my father’s letter in hand, I went into our bedroom in the house at 15 Wadham Road, where we lived, and got on my knees and made a pledge with the Lord. I covenanted that I would try to forget myself and lose myself in His service.
That July day in 1933 was my day of decision. A new light came into my life and a new joy into my heart. The fog of England seemed to lift, and I saw the sunlight. I had a rich and wonderful mission experience, for which I shall ever be grateful” (“Taking the Gospel to Britain: A Declaration of Vision, Faith, Courage, and Truth,” Ensign, July 1987, 7).
I listened to this and I thought about the importance of losing my own self in the service to those around me. I have discovered, as I have gotten older, that I feel better and I am closer to my Heavenly Father, when I find things to do that help others. I am amazed at how simple service can heal my heart and make me feel more worthy of Him. So today, no matter what your beliefs might be, I hope that you will listen to this simple story and go and do likewise in your life. Lose yourself in the service to others. I have found that it is easy to get discouraged, to want to quit, to feel worthless and unloved. But I have also discovered that when I actively go and help someone else, those feelings wither and die inside. I discover that I do have worth and value. I discover that what I do matters. And most of all, I discover that He loves me. So, whoever you are, “forget yourself and go to work”. You just might find yourself loving the service.
- – - – - – - – - – -