As men we are often called upon to lift things. It is true that all of us are not strong physically but generally speaking we are the ones with the most strength to lift what needs to be lifted. I remember as a youth going to help move members of the ward frequently. I enjoyed that, possibly because moving to me was a good thing since we had done it so much in my family due to my father's serving in the military for many years.
One time I remember moving someones dryer with a man in the ward. I wrapped my arms around it and lifted and took a few steps and noticed that the other fellow wasn't there, it was just me moving it. I didn't know until then that I could move something of that size by myself. It helped my confidence.
Much more important than lifting furniture or boxes of things is when the Lord calls upon us to lift another person. That is to help them grow to a higher level of understanding. Lifting others is different than lifting things in that it requires a sensitivity to the Spirit and a spiritual preparation rather than strength and a reasonably functioning body. The sensitivity to the Spirit is required to direct us to the person and the method to use to lift or aid someone. The spiritual preparation allows us to have the Spirit and get those directions from the Lord.
President Harold B. Lee said, "You cannot lift another soul, until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul" (April Conference 1973). [On the flip side of things you can see that one of the difficulties in accepting help from someone would be to accept that they are on "higher ground", and you on lower ground, needing the help.]
So we must develop ourselves spiritually which is to stay stand on higher ground in order to be able to lift another. Which of course means we have to be ready to climb and exercise ourselves spiritually. We must be constantly looking up and desiring to grow and move upward and forward. Then we are positioned to lift others and bring them up to where we are.
Sometimes this will be a friend, an acquaintance or even a stranger the Lord will bring to us because He can trust us to bring them up. Probably more often this will be a ward member or a family member that we need to lift up, to strengthen, love, have and help them have confidence in not only themselves but also in the Lord. It is impressive how the Lord will use us when we show Him we are willing and able.
The Lord will give us opportunities to grow. Many will occur through the training in church. Church attendance, service, and callings will give us opportunities to grow and develop. Other opportunities will be outside the church in our work and recreation. Probably the largest area where we will receive growth opportunities is through our family relationships. Getting along with our wife, understanding and raising children and maintaining and creating relationships with our families of origin and the in-laws. These experiences will help us immensely to be trustworthy to the Lord.
As we do our part and develop ourselves and lift others we need not worry about ALL the lifting that needs done or how to do ALL the spiritual work that needs to be done. Instead we just need to do our part.
"Some years ago in our meetinghouse in Darmstadt, Germany, a group of brethren was asked to move a grand piano from the chapel to the adjoining cultural hall, where it was needed for a musical event. None were professional movers, and the task of getting that gravity-friendly instrument through the chapel and into the cultural hall seemed nearly impossible. Everybody knew that this task required not only physical strength but also careful coordination. There were plenty of ideas, but not one could keep the piano balanced correctly. They repositioned the brethren by strength, height, and age over and over again—nothing worked.
As they stood around the piano, uncertain of what to do next, a good friend of mine, Brother Hanno Luschin, spoke up. He said, “Brethren, stand close together and lift where you stand.”
It seemed too simple. Nevertheless, each lifted where he stood, and the piano rose from the ground and moved into the cultural hall as if on its own power. That was the answer to the challenge. They merely needed to stand close together and lift where they stood...
You may feel that there are others who are more capable or more experienced who could fulfill your callings and assignments better than you can, but the Lord gave you your responsibilities for a reason. There may be people and hearts only you can reach and touch. Perhaps no one else could do it in quite the same way.
Our Heavenly Father asks that we represent Him in the noble work of reaching out and blessing the lives of His children. He asks us to stand firm with the power of the priesthood in our hearts and souls and give the calling we have at this moment our best efforts.
Brethren, as strong as you are, you cannot and you should not lift a piano by yourself. Likewise, none of us can or should move the Lord’s work alone. But if we all stand close together in the place the Lord has appointed and lift where we stand, nothing can keep this divine work from moving upward and forward.
Brethren, may we cease to aspire and cease to retire!
May we always remember this profound lesson: that we are banner bearers of the Lord Jesus Christ, upheld by the Holy Spirit of God, faithful and true to the end, each one devoted to give our all to the cause of Zion and bound by covenant to stand close together and lift where we stand." (October conference 2008)
Be prepared to serve and love it!