I grew up hearing my dad quote one of his favorite Book of Mormon scriptures, found in the book of Mosiah. Consequently, this became a favorite of mine, too:
[W]hen ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. – Mosiah 2:17
Prophets ancient and modern teach us this principle, as the Savior taught:
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40
Service is an important part of Mormon doctrine, because we know, as other believers do, that one way to show our love to God is to love His children.
And we also know what it’s like to have someone be an answer to our prayers. How many times has someone’s small act of service been like a gift from heaven for you?
I’ve always liked this quote from Spencer W. Kimball:
God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.
Service is built into every facet of our Mormon life. It’s of course encouraged in our families, first and foremost. But our church is organized so as to help every family have someone (called a home teacher) to turn to for help. Each woman in the Church is also connected with two women (called visiting teachers) who have a special watchcare responsibility…a sort of “first line” of defense in times of need. Home and visiting teachers are to visit or contact their family/sister every month to share a spiritual message and especially to check in and see if there are any needs.
We also seek to serve in a wider sense, in our communities. For example, the following video shows Mormon Helping Hands in New Zealand working on a community service project.
The Church also has does humanitarian service work that helps get aid, education, clean water, immunizations, and more to the poor and needy in various places around the world.