Director of LDS Charities and first counselor in the General Presidency of the Relief Society Sharon Eubank invited students to become humanitarian ambassadors in her forum address. She said every person can provide the gift of service in small, yet significant ways.
Eubank opened her remarks with an account shared by the late Eugene Roberts, a BYU athletics coach. He witnessed a talk given by President George H. Brimhall in the Provo tabernacle which changed the course of his life.
Brimhall focused on an individual’s character and compared people to eagles and hogs. Eagles work diligently during the day to provide for the families and use their leisure time to fly in the clean air. Hogs provide just as well for their young as the eagles do, but use their recreational moments to soak in the muddiest pasture they can find.
“You are busy university students with church callings, work, families, friends and many obligations,” Eubank said. “But after an experience I had two weeks ago, I realized that as busy as I think I am, the Lord puts opportunities right in my path and all I have to do is take advantage of them.”
Eubank went on to share a story from shortly after President Monson’s funeral. The Monson family asked the Relief Society to deliver floral arrangements they had received to local care centers and hospitals.
Eubank brought an arrangement to a care center President Monson frequented. She understood President Monson spent much of his leisure time with the people at the center.
“The Lord isn’t asking many of us for big, time consuming gestures,” Eubank said. “He merely asks for minutes of our time to help another person on their way.”
Eubank continued her address by focusing on becoming servants who reach out to those around them — even strangers. She said differences can cause feelings of isolation within groups of people. However, service can be unifying.
People often forget everyone is a child of God during humanitarian crises, according to Eubank. No matter what physical forms of service or donated materials are provided, it is “all in vain” without the process of befriending and supporting others.
“You yourself are the gift,” Eubank said. “It’s not the clothing. It isn’t hygiene kits or school desks or wells. It’s you.”
Eubank concluded by encouraging students to provide friendship and respect to those in need rather than just tangible goods. Befriending someone can be done at any time and in any location, according to Eubank.
She offered a reminder to remember that being oneself is a gift to others in the same way Jesus Christ is a gift.
“The Lord wants to use you,” Eubank said. “There is a work for you to do and it is specific to you and your abilities. Nobody will be the ambassador that you will be.”
Ben Ogles, Dean of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences and psychology professor, will deliver the Devotional address next week on Jan. 30.