Saturday, February 21, 2009

Individual recognition is rarely an indication of the value of our service

I am teaching RS tomorrow. The lesson is President Uchtdorf's talk "Lift Where you Stand" given in the Priesthood session last October. I love it. The title of this blog is my favorite thing he says. I'll quote it again in case you missed it.

"Individual recognition is rarely an indication of the value of our service."

Can you name one of the Stripling Warriors? Does that make their bravery and faith any less? President Uchtdorf says: "As individuals, they are unnamed. As a group, however, their name will always be remembered for honesty, courage, and their willingness to serve. They accomplished together what none of them could have accomplished alone. That is a lesson for us. When we stand close together and lift where we stand, when we care more for the glory of the kingdom of God than for our own prestige or pleasure, we can accomplish so much more."

I have always loved the story of the warriors and their mothers who taught them faith. I never thought about the fact I didn't know their names, I didn't need to. I knew their heart and their deeds. That was enough.

What about this--can you name one of the wives of Lehi's sons? I bet Nephi's wife was amazing. Listen to what Nephi says about her in the scriptures:

1 Nephi 17 1-3
1 And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth. And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.
2 And so great were the blessing of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.
3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

The women were all strong. They gave birth in the wilderness, they ate raw meat, they walked miles daily and bore their journey without whining. Wow, I whine when the dishwasher breaks down or I have too much laundry! What women.

Recently our family ordered the "Who is Your Hero" posters by Steve Nethercott. We are using them in FHE to guide our lesson and discussion. This month we placed the poster of Lehi and Ishmeal's daughters up. I didn't tell the kids who it was all day and they had to guess. By night we had some interesting guesses. But what I loved was our discussion about murmuring, aka whining, and how these women, who were asked to do HARD things, didn't murmur. They were impressed. I was impressed.

So again it hit me as I was preparing my lesson tonight, I don't know Nephi's wife's name. Nor Sam's, nor Laman's. But what they did was amazing. The fact that I don't know their names doesn't decrease the value of their deeds.

So if my "great deeds" never get written up in a Random Sampler moment for the Ensign or I am never the inspiration for millions of women (thanks nienie for doing this for many of us), that doesn't decrease the value of my service.

So my kids may never fall at my feet and call me blessed on a daily basis for each act of service. My husband may never jump for joy when he sees that the toilets are cleaned. And after tomorrow's RS lesson, maybe not one person will say thank you. But again: lack of individual recognition is not an indication of the value of the service! Hmmm.

I need to ponder that for a while. I think there is great wisdom in those few words.

1 comment:

Christy said...

I read a book that touched briefly on the mothers of the Stripling Warriors. In it, the author wondered how many of those women were single mothers because their husbands had died in the previous battles. Yet, they continued on. There isn't a lot of praise given them of their sons, but the example is set for all.
I openly praise you Cheryl! I may not fall at your feet, but I am grateful to God everyday that you are a women of faith and strength who came into my life as a lifeline for something greater than I. Thank you a thousand times over for the simple everyday sacrifices you make being a mom; for the way "you lay down your life for a friend"

Christy Crenshaw