Spencer W. Kimball, 12th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, taught, “My life is like my shoes — to be worn out in service. … None of us should become so busy in our formal Church assignments that there is no room left for quiet Christian service to our neighbors” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, 2006).
Inspired to give that quiet Christian service referred to by President Kimball, Church members of the Etobicoke, Ontario congregation set a goal to perform 2,015 acts of “second mile” service. Acts that would be outside their regular duties or that might push them beyond their own comfort zone in the community and amongst their congregation throughout 2015.
Whether it was loaning a friend money to buy a cookie, washing dishes at a local organization that fed the homeless, giving free gymnastics lessons to someone who couldn’t afford them, donating furniture and other household items to new immigrants from Afghanistan and Syria, helping to cut and tie blankets for a homeless shelter, collecting items for hygiene kits or a child helping her mom by being quiet so that she did not wake the baby, Church members banded together to go “the second mile” in giving service to others.
Keeley Brooks gained insight into service as she took part in the project. “Over the year of active focus on serving others, it became clearer that service comes from who one is rather than what one does. One can serve another without any feeling or thought, or even with resentment, but where the individual change comes is when one strives to have charity, that is, the pure love of Christ, for the person one is serving. This true, heartfelt service lifts both the giver and receiver.”
King Benjamin taught “…that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17).