A few years ago I was living in an area that received about 28 inches of rain inside of four days. Extreme flooding occurred. A city close by was completely inundated with water. Many lost their homes. As the water receded many organizations, public, private and non-profit kicked into high gear to help. There was a lot to do.

Mormons were a part of the overall effort. A lot of unskilled labor was needed in the initial stages of recovery. In the later stages, skilled labor was needed to help people rebuild their homes. The rains had occurred in spring. By mid-summer the rebuild was continuing. For about three weekends the temperature topped 100 degrees F. all weekend long. All the scheduled work had to be postponed because the extreme heat made it dangerous for anyone to work.

Our Stake President announced to us later that it was one of these weekends that a man, who had lost his home and everything to the flooding, killed himself. The despair had overcome him on one of these hot weekends. The Stake President used this story to illustrate the continuing needs although the flooding had long ceased to dominate the news headlines. The disaster was technically over but the tragedy continued.

Many of our efforts to serve are simply "tokenism." In other words, our efforts are minimal, usually geared to make us feel better, but does little to address the actual needs.

Cataclysmic disasters create long-term needs for service. We should look at them as long term opportunities to serve. Other needs may be short-term or require less to satisfy.

In our own lives we must endure to the end of our lives. We need to serve with an eye towards serving to the end of the need, not to the end of what we want to do.

Service is rarely convenient, but it is necessary. It is what Jesus Christ would do.

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