Giving service and extending help to others is a deeply imbedded part of the LDS culture. We hear about local congregations participating in community cleanups, LDS men cleaning someone else’s yard, a family cooking a casserole for a sick church member, and many others. Giving has become a way of life for most of us, as our service to others reflects our love for the Savior, Jesus Christ. But are we willing to receive as much as we give?
Many people find joy in giving. Some may even see more meaning in life when doing so. However, when circumstances turn in life and we are the ones who need help, we may sometimes feel hesitant to seek help from others because we do not want to bother other people by our situation. Some feel uncomfortable receiving help from others. Some want to resolve problems on their own. While some think less of themselves if they seek help from others. We have our own personal reasons why we do not want to receive help from others but the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that it is okay to be vulnerable and receive help from others when we need it.
In the Book of Mosiah, the Lord commanded us “to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; … mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort…” This commandment is not one-sided. If we are the ones always giving help and service, it does not mean that others cannot offer us help and service. It is okay to feel that we can solve problems on our own but it is also okay to share our burdens with others. Family, friends and acquaintances can pray and fast for us, rally with us in our battles and understand us better if they know what we are currently going through. It is also important to know that seeking help is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is a sign of humility to recognize that there are certain things we cannot do on our own.
We might think that we would rather ask for Heavenly Father’s help than ask for our neighbor’s help. But our families, friends and neighbors are God’s hands here on earth, and in many cases, He sends the help we need through them. Recognizing this helps us to be more comfortable receiving help.
Seeking help can also empower others, especially those who feel weak, to extend the help they are able give. This can give us a better perspective on our own problems as we help someone else bear their burden as well as having others around us. It unites people by increasing love and concern for others. Moreover, it dispels the myth that you are the only one who might feel weak, or that church members with perfect lives are the ones who give more service. Our Heavenly Father will guide and give us the strength to help and serve his children in big or small ways.