Two people putting groceries in car

How to Serve Even When We’re Busy

Even when you have a lot going on in your own life, there are always opportunities to serve.

When the Savior taught that we should “lose our lives for [his] sake,” he was telling us to dedicate our time to serving others (Luke 9:24). While we want to follow this direction, service often seems like a burden—especially when our lives already feel so overwhelmingly busy. In a 2009 general conference address titled “What Have I Done for Someone Today?,” President Thomas S. Monson shares a message that inspires service, even for those of us who feel too preoccupied to serve others. 

“We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.” —Thomas S Monson

Photo by Kindel Media

Although President Monson acknowledges that we all have busy lives, he emphasizes that our duty is to act as the Lord’s hands and carry out his work by serving others. Such responsibility is humbling, but it can also be intimidating. Does that familiar lyric, “have I helped anyone in need…if not, I have failed indeed,” mean that we’re not fulfilling our purpose unless we carry out some grand service project every day? President Monson offers some reassuring words through the examples of others. Instead of giving examples of huge service projects, he shares stories about simple acts of service performed by children from around the world. These stories are of children visiting a neighbor, comforting a loved one, or helping out around the house. 

I often convince myself that I don’t have time to serve others or that someone else will offer help. However, President Monson’s message made me realize that acts of service don’t need to take up my whole day. While bringing people meals and cleaning up their yards are great ways to serve, helping someone in need can also be as simple as offering a smile or sending a text. President Monson is not suggesting that we stop making a great effort to serve; he is only shedding light on the fact that we all have the capacity to serve—no matter how busy our lives are. As we seek to act as the Lord’s hands through even the smallest acts of service, we will bless the lives of others.

To learn more about our responsibility to serve others, read President Thomas S. Monson’s full talk “What Have I Done for Someone Today?


—Sky Gallagher, Latter-day Saint Insights 


Find more insights

Watch the video “Lift” to learn more about the power of service to change hearts.

Read “Finding Joy through Loving Service” by M. Russell Ballard to find out more about the positive impacts of service.

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One Comment

  1. What an interesting article! I love the title, so captivating!

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