Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The "Me" Generation - So worth reading!!!

As the events of today unraveled, this came to mind.  It was great to re-read after all this time.  So profoundly important to people of any belief.  I hope you'll take the time to read it.  What I am posting here is only a portion of his words.  If you're interested in the entire speech, you can click here

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

"Unselfish Service," , (April 5, 2009)

Dallin H. Oaks

"Our Savior gave Himself in unselfish service. He taught that each of us should follow Him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to serve others.

“If any man will come after me [He said], let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24–25; see also Matthew 10:39).

"We live in a time when sacrifice is definitely out of fashion, when the outside forces that taught our ancestors the need for unselfish cooperative service have diminished. Someone has called this the 'me' generation—a selfish time when everyone seems to be asking, what’s in it for me? Even some who should know better seem to be straining to win the praise of those who mock and scoff from the “great and spacious building” identified in vision as the pride of the world (see 1 Nephi 8:26–28; 11:35–36).

"The worldly aspiration of our day is to get something for nothing. The ancient evil of greed shows its face in the assertion of entitlement: I am entitled to this or that because of who I am—a son or a daughter, a citizen, a victim, or a member of some other group. Entitlement is generally selfish. It demands much, and it gives little or nothing. Its very concept causes us to seek to elevate ourselves above those around us. This separates us from the divine, evenhanded standard of reward that when anyone obtains any blessing from God, it is by obedience to the law on which that blessing is predicated (see D&C 130:21).

"The effects of greed and entitlement are evident in the multimillion-dollar bonuses of some corporate executives. But the examples are more widespread than that. Greed and ideas of entitlement have also fueled the careless and widespread borrowing and excessive consumerism behind the financial crises that threaten to engulf the world.

"Gambling is another example of greed and selfishness. The gambler ventures a minimum amount in the hope of a huge return that comes by taking it away from others. No matter how it is disguised, getting something for nothing is contrary to the gospel law of the harvest: 'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap' (Galatians 6:7; see also 2 Corinthians 9:6).

"The values of the world wrongly teach that “it’s all about me.” That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth. It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for His children. The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that this life is all about what we can become.

"A great example of unselfish service is the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose vow committed herself and her fellow workers to 'wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.' 9 She taught that 'one thing will always secure heaven for us—the acts of charity and kindness with which we have filled our lives.' 10 'We can do no great things,' Mother Teresa maintained, 'only small things with great love.' 11 When this wonderful Catholic servant died, the First Presidency’s message of condolence declared, 'Her life of unselfish service is an inspiration to all the world, and her acts of Christian goodness will stand as a memorial for generations to come.' 12 That is what the Savior called losing our lives in service to others.

"Each of us should apply that principle to our attitudes in attending church. Some say 'I didn’t learn anything today' or 'No one was friendly to me' or 'I was offended' or 'The Church is not filling my needs.' All those answers are self-centered, and all retard spiritual growth.

"In contrast, a wise friend wrote:
"'Years ago, I changed my attitude about going to church. No longer do I go to church for my sake, but to think of others. I make a point of saying hello to people who sit alone, to welcome visitors, … to volunteer for an assignment. …

"'In short, I go to church each week with the intent of being active, not passive, and making a positive difference in people’s lives. Consequently, my attendance at Church meetings is so much more enjoyable and fulfilling.' 13
"All of this illustrates the eternal principle that we are happier and more fulfilled when we act and serve for what we give, not for what we get.

"Our Savior teaches us to follow Him by making the sacrifices necessary to lose ourselves in unselfish service to others. If we do, He promises us eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7)...."


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