I’d like to share a small excerpt from a new book for women, called Daughters in My Kingdom, about a time when the ninth general Relief Society President, Sister Belle S. Spafford, learned an important lesson: “Trembling and uncertain, Sister Spafford placed the paper on the desk of President George Albert Smith, saying, ‘The Relief Society Presidency wishes to recommend that the General Board terminate its membership in the National Council and in the International Council of Women, for the reasons listed on this paper.’ President Smith carefully read the paper… She recommended that they withdraw because ‘we don’t get a thing from these councils.’ This wise, old prophet tipped back in his chair and looked at her with a disturbed expression. ‘You want to withdraw because you don’t get anything out of it?’ he questioned.
“‘Tell me,’ he said, ‘what is it that you are putting into it?’
‘Sister Spafford,’ he continued, ‘you surprise me. Do you always think in terms of what you get? Don’t you think also in terms of what you have to give?’”
This is an example of what Stephen R. Covey calls a ‘paradigm shift’, or a shift in the fundamental way we choose to view something. If we’re always worried about what we can get, it feels like we have sandbags tied to our feet as we go about the work we do. However, focusing on what more we can give in any situation, not just service projects, propels us forward with enthusiastic motivation.
Our Savior, as usual, is the best example of this. What does He get in return for what He’s given us? He willingly gave the glory for His sacrifice to His Father, and He mostly gets a world full of ungrateful recipients. He’s given us everything, yet how many people do you know who gratefully accept the gift He has given us? Elder David A. Bednar taught that we can come the closest to being like Christ when we give everything and expect nothing. That’s when the blessings can flow.