You can read the rest of Presidents Uchtdorf’s talk here
President F Uchtdorf shares the following story in his talk entitled, ‘You are my Hands’ during the May 2010 conference.
“A story is told that during the bombing of a city in the World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the towns people found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith of God’s presence in their lives.
Experts were able to repair most if the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculpture to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was- a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words: ‘You are my hands.”
If you are like me then you will have spent several hours praying and studying and pondering upon what you are going to speak about. In the end it becomes apparent that it is not what we would like to speak about, but what are the words that the Lord, Jesus Christ would have us speak. Today he has asked me to speak about how we maybe his hands.
When we think about Christ’s mortal ministry we think about how he was always part of the crowd. He never waited for those who were in need to come to him, but he found a way to always be where he was needed. Pres Uchtdorf continues ‘our hands can become his hands, our eyes his eyes and his heart his heart.’
In a world where the hearts of mankind have turned cold towards each, where community spirit is lacking and the norm is to judge others because they are different. It is up to us to extend the hand of Christ unto all. Christ sat among the broken, the ragged and the torn, but he judged them not. He gave sight unto the blind, fed the thousands, healed the broken in body and spirit and raised the dead, but more than that he was about his Father’s business and he taught eternal doctrines.
He wants us to be his hands on a day to day basis. We may never raise the dead or heal the sick or feed thousands but we can heal the broken in body and spirit. Many of us have callings to serve, but can we do more than what we are called to do?
In D&C 81:5 we read
Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succour the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.’
This scripture is an interesting scripture; first it states ‘be faithful’. How can we be faithful? Do the things that we know we should be doing; read the scriptures, pray, come to church, partake of the sacrament worthily, go to the temple or at the very least be worthy to hold a temple recommend and the easy one, keep the commandments.
Next we are told to ‘stand in the office which I have appointed unto you’. This word ‘stand’ is an interesting word. Does it mean that we must always stand up when we carry out our calling? Of course it does not. It means that we should magnify our callings. When we use a magnifying glass things become bigger and so it should be with our callings, and our testimonies.
We are then told to ‘succour the weak’; there are many who come regularly to church throughout the world whose testimonies are weak for whatever reason and I feel it is to these that we are called to succour. Many of us are called to go Visiting Teaching or Home Teaching, the Bishopric have requested that the brethren set aside one evening a week for ministering. So why can’t the Sister’s do the same? They can! For some it may be a morning or an afternoon a week instead of an evening but if we are diligent then we are promised that we will reap the blessings.
How many times have we needed someone to come along and help ‘lift up our hands that hang down’ with the weight of the world. It does not mean that we need to go round and literally hold up others hands, but it does mean that we need to help strengthen the physical body when it can no longer carry on.
Along with lifting the hands that hang down we must also strengthen the feeble knees. There has been times when it wasn’t my physical knees that needed strengthening but my spiritual ones instead. When we are being faithful I can bear witness that they spirit will whisper but if we do not take the time to listen then we may never hear.
Pres Uchtdorf continues
We cannot gauge the worth of another soul any more than we can measure the span of the universe. (Just think about that). Every person we meet is a VIP to Our Heavenly Father. Once we understand that, we can begin to understand how we should treat out fellowmen.
One woman who had been through years of trial and sorrow said through her tears, “I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill – crumpled, torn, dirty, abused and scarred. But I am still a 20-dollar bill. I am worth something. Even though I may not look like much and even though I’ve been battered and used, I am still worth the full 20 dollars.”
There has been times when I have known without any doubt how that woman felt, has I too have felt crumpled, torn, dirty, abused and scarred and yet I too was still of full worth. And yet when I felt like I couldn’t feel any worse and didn’t really want to feel any better the Lord called me on a mission. Since then I have learnt that being a missionary is not about wearing a badge but it about serving the Lord Jesus Christ through serving others. It is important that we extend our hands unto all that we may be able to serve them the way the Lord, Jesus Christ desires us to do so. It is while teaching some of the missionaries this last week that I came across the following quote, which then led me to the talk by
Pres Uchtdorf –
“Let us love at all times. And let us especially be there for our brothers and sisters during times of adversity…
“As we extend our hands and hearts towards others in Christ like love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.”
Pres Dieter F. Uchtdorf, May 2010
It would have been so easy for me to ignore my call to serve has a missionary, I mean no one else had heard what I had heard, no one else knew what I knew to be true with all my heart. The call did not come at a convenient time, in fact my reply to the call was, ‘I would like to see how you are going to do that’. Well do that He did. However I can testify that by extended my hand towards others through missionary service I have truly felt my spirit being healed, I am certainly more refined and stronger and happier.
Our lives present us with many trials and tribulations, we believe we know how we will act when such and such and trial comes along, but we do not. The Lord has called us to serve him and his children let us be eager to serve. It is important that we are His ambassadors and his hands at all times. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.