Missionaries Serving Those In Harlem

LDS missionaries serving in harlem


This account was written by Sister-Crystal Diehl

Today was a very inspiring day for me in the mission field. To spread the gospel in a more effective and creative way, we decided to get together and set up a few shoe shining booths and a hot chocolate stand all in hopes to not only serve the people of Harlem, but to maybe catch a few minutes of their day to teach them about the gospel. While it was a wonderful experience to talk with so many wonderful people, my heart was touched in particular when a man who stopped by one of our tables and had a profound insight and said “I get it, this is like when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples to demonstrate that we are all on the same level, we are all equal and we are all here to serve each other”.

I did not think about that.

But this thought that we are here to serve one another and that we are on the same level and are equal has stuck with me. How beautiful! I was then left to reflect on this time of year, the time where we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Redeemer who is the ultimate example of serving others. He spent all of his days in service, and I think the best way we can remember Christ this season and make the most out of this holiday season is by immersing ourselves in service, and really getting down to the “same level”. And remember.. “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” Mosiah 2:17 (Book of Mormon)


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11 Replies to “Missionaries Serving Those In Harlem”

  1. Interesting, because the FIRST thing I thought about was Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. Great example to follow!

  2. I found the ‘getting down to the “same level”’ comment to be somewhat condescending in nature. There but for the grace of God, and all. I thought the article was otherwise inspiring and that this was an EXCELLENT idea for a service project! Thank you.

    1. How could it be condescending? It came from someone being served? Not the other way around. Yes, this was a nice bit of service. It is always good to preach truth by action.

      1. Because it wasn’t a quote of those being served. 2nd paragraph. Author inserts it.
        —really getting down to the “same level”—

        I don’t think it was intentional but just the same, maybe they subconsciously think they’re at a “higher level”.

        Anyways, this was a great service project

        1. I didn’t read it like “getting down to the same level” as implying she was “above” anyone at all.

          I saw it as – everyone sets aside their own selves and gets “down” to the level of what this is really about. And if we all do that, we’re all in the same place. Not caught in the labels of society, nor the distractions of this world, which we are all subject to – but at some level we all come from the same place, as children of God. And that is a deep place we need to take ourselves to do Christlike service. The essence of Christmas. The basis for everything we should do.

          Funny how people can read the same thing so differently.

        2. Guess you missed the first paragraph – the ‘servee’ is being quoted as saying the “same level” comment.

    2. I served my mission on those very streets 20 years ago and this is a fantastic example of showing the people of Harlem that these white, suit-and-tie wearing Mormon kids really do care about them. Believe what you will, but in the inner-city, many feel like there’s no way these white kids from Utah care about them or can even relate to them.

      This is one of a million ways to break down those barriers in the service of the Lord. Awesome!

    3. I read it as getting down to the same level of humility. If both parties are too high and mighty to serve and be served, this type of love doesn’t happen. Service and being served requires getting down to the same level of humility. It is funny how each of us interpret things we read. It says something about what’s really in our hearts and minds.

  3. Many would not give the homeless personal time, they donate to charities or contribute to collection boxes, but you missionaries took the time to show love, compassion, and friendship to all equally. What a great lesson to ALL who are religious or not, LOVE should be universal. May you be blessed!

  4. We’re all lower than the dust. We all need to “get down”. Great opportunity to serve, hopefully all were edified.

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