Service, “the very definition of our religion” according to Elder Ballard, can be bad. “Service” and “bad” are rarely — if ever — strung together. By realizing there are ineffective ways to serve, however, improvement and effectiveness of service becomes possible. Members of the LDS Church should approach service with unselfish motives in order to uphold the divine characteristic of charity.
Ineffective service is a common daily occurrence. One simple way to evaluate the effectiveness of service is to evaluate motive. Traditionally, the viewpoint of serving in order to receive blessings has evolved. This outlook should not be the motive; the one completely pure motive of service is charity, through love for God’s children and willingness to serve to display love for God.
It is important to recognize and improve tactics of service. Basic ways to improve service are putting in more effort, going out of your comfort zone, using your brain, observing before you serve, reaching your full potential in order to help others reach theirs, reflecting on your experience and learning through your service. Learning to serve effectively is essential, for service influences countless lives. Service is an activity we will always be encouraged to incorporate more abundantly in our lives, hopefully in a more effective way in order to maximize our efforts and our abilities to help others. By recognizing the ineffective ways to serve by using our “heart, might, mind and strength” mentioned in D&C 4:2, assessing our methods of service and improving upon them becomes possible.