Two hands cup water as it pours in

Not My Feet Only: Accepting the Lord’s Service

When we struggle to accept the Lord’s help, let us follow the example of Peter at the Last Supper when Christ washes Peter’s feet.

My parents were recently called to serve as a mission president couple in California. While they’ve been preparing for their mission, I’ve thought a lot about my own 18 months of service in Houston, Texas—I know I never could’ve completed my mission without the Lord’s help. We all need the Lord’s hand in our life, but in an age focused on personal independence, we often struggle to accept it.

A hand reaches out in black and white with a bible quote from John 13:8 that says, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

Photo by Ave Calvar

The Bible video “The Last Supper” depicts Christ’s invitation to serve others. But Christ teaches us another important lesson as he washes the disciples’ feet: his desire to serve us. 

Before Christ begins the sacrament and passover meal, he washes the disciples’ feet one by one, eventually coming to Peter. At first, Peter objects to the Lord washing his feet. But Christ gently rebukes his protest: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (John 13:8). As Peter comes to understand that accepting Christ into one’s life means accepting his service, he asks that the Lord wash “not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:9).

Likewise, although we often have the desire to serve the Lord, it can be difficult to allow the Lord to serve us. But if we don’t accept the Lord’s service, he can’t fulfill his purpose in our lives. Christ’s purpose was to perform the Atonement, allowing him to help us reach our full potential and providing a way back to our Heavenly Father. To follow that way we must accept his assistance. 

Like Peter, we must learn to humble ourselves and accept help from the Lord. Since we must accept the Lord’s service, then let us seek his help in every aspect of our lives that he wash not our feet only. 

Watch the Bible video “The Last Supper” to see what Christ taught the disciples about his Atonement.


—Kalene Gillespie, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Read more about the importance of accepting love and help from the Lord and others in Kent P. Jackson’s BYU Devotional speech “Receiving.”

To understand how God offers us more than we could give in return, read King Benjamin’s address in Mosiah 2:17–21.

See how prayer is one way that we can seek help from the Lord in the inspirational Church video “Abide With Me.”

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