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Why are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so quick to serve?


If there’s one thing members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are known for in their religion and in their communities, it’s how willingly they volunteer their time to serve. But Church members do more than just serve in the community. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not have a paid clergy. The teachers, missionaries, and leaders in both local and worldwide positions serve at their own time and expense.

So why are Church members so generous in giving service? It’s part of our culture—and we believe we are invited by God to serve.


President Thomas S. Monson, 16th prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said this about service:

“We do not live alone—not in our city, our nation, our world. There is no dividing line between our prosperity and our neighbor’s wretchedness. ‘Love thy neighbor’ is more than a divine truth. It is a pattern for perfection. This truth inspires the familiar charge, ‘Go forth to serve.’ Try as some of us may, we cannot escape the influence our lives have upon the lives of others. Ours is the opportunity to build, to lift, to inspire, and indeed to lead. The New Testament teaches that it is impossible to take a right attitude toward Christ without taking an unselfish attitude toward men” (“President Monson: Service Brings Joy”).


Ask any professional psychiatrist, behavioral therapist, or other health professional what factors play a role in creating happiness and they’re likely to mention service as one of them. The more you interact with your community through service, the more you’ll forget about your own troubles and find joy in helping others.

The joy that comes from service is one of the reasons why Church members serve missions, which generally range from 18 to 24 months. Men and women of the Church leave everything behind to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ—and to perform service. For example, when Superstorm Sandy hit Long Island, Church missionaries and members of local congregations were some of the first on the scene delivering humanitarian aid.


Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Christ’s commandment to “love one another” includes serving each other as a method of showing that love.

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin, an ancient prophet, said, “And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness” (Mosiah 2:41).

Following God’s commandments—including His commandments to love and serve—guarantees an everlasting happiness that surpasses anything we can currently comprehend.