Families, communities, and nations are stronger when we each do our duty. Parents and teachers have the responsibility to teach children and teenagers the importance of duty and the joy that comes from it. We each have responsibilities in our homes, states and countries; we need to be prepared and willing to perform and to serve others.
What is our response when our "call to serve" comes? Do we willingly accept that duty or do we murmur about the job being impossible to do or too hard? A renowned poet and author wrote the following poem about duty (Rabindranath Tagore, as quoted by Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 2012, 67).
I slept and dreamt
That life was joy
I awoke and saw
That life was duty
I acted and behold
Duty was joy.
President Monson also quoted Robert Louis Stevenson: "I know what pleasure is, for I have done good work." President Monson then added, "As we perform our duties …, we will find true joy. We will experience the satisfaction of having completed our tasks….
"Brethren, the world is in need of our help. Are we doing all we should? … There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of … service. Let us hearken to the stirring reminder found in the Epistle of James: `Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22).
We each can learn and ponder our individual duties. We each can be willing and ready to reach out and bless the lives of other people. We can follow in the footsteps of the Savior when we perform our duties and find true joy. The rising generation must be taught that joy comes from doing our duty in service to our fellowmen. When we do our duty, we strengthen our home, community, and nation.