The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution — Going About Doing Good
Have you been working on your New Year’s resolutions? Maybe they include exercising three times a week, trying out a new hobby, or reading the Book of Mormon from beginning to end by the end of the year.
If there is one New Year’s resolution that should be on everyone’s list, it is this: to do good.
The hymn “Have I Done Any Good?” asks a few simple questions:
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
The Savior set the perfect example for serving others. He treated everyone He met with charity and selflessness.
President Thomas S. Monson is another example of consistently doing good. You have heard countless stories about President Monson’s service to those around him, whether he knew them or not. He has said, “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.”
Everyone is in need, and many are praying for help. The Lord hears those prayers and might choose to answer them with your help. Your compassionate service can remind others that God loves them.
President Henry B. Eyring taught that the Lord invites “His children to consecrate their time, their means, and themselves to join with Him in serving others.” It doesn’t matter where you are in life, spiritually or physically. We’ve been commanded to love one another like Jesus loves us. We do that when we happily lend ourselves in whatever way we can to those in need.
July 2006, William Baker spoke about knowing, doing, and being at a BYU devotional. He said: “Giving service—such as that which we give in the Church, in our communities, and especially our families—is central to this useful and essential work. By losing ourselves in doing good for others, we come to understand what the Lord meant when He said: ‘He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it’ (Matthew 10:39).”
Why are missionaries and temple workers so happy? They forget themselves and get lost in the service of others because they understand that the true essence of this gospel is charity, the pure love of Christ.
Service is a blessing for the giver and the receiver. As you generously serve Heavenly Father’s children, He will likewise be generous toward you.
For love to grow, it must be practiced. President Spencer W. Kimball taught: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom.”
It is our responsibility to be listening for guidance from the Holy Ghost, so we can recognize and rise to service opportunities. We must keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open. In Doctrine and Covenants 81:5, we are told to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” Happiness comes by quietly, thoughtfully, and unselfishly going about doing good as often as we can.
Robert J. Whetten reminded us: “It’s not enough to say we believe and that we love Him; we must be found possessed with His kind of love for others at that last day. It is not necessary for us to lay down our life for others as He did, but like the Savior, we should bless the lives of others by giving of what our life is made up of—our time, our talents, our means, and ourselves.”
As you face the new year and the new goals and opportunities that come with it, be sure that following Christ’s perfect example is at the top of your list.