Our Savior teaches us to follow Him by making the sacrifices necessary to lose ourselves in unselfish service to others. Our Savior gave Himself in unselfish service. He taught that each of us should follow Him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to serve others. "If any man will come after me [He said], let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:24-25; see also Matthew 10:39).
As a group, Latter-day Saints are unique in following that teaching - unique in the extent of their unselfish service.
Each year tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints submit their papers for full-time missionary service. Seniors put aside the diversions of retirement, the comforts of home, and the loving companionship of children and grandchildren and go forth to serve strangers in unfamiliar places. Young men and women put work and education on hold and make themselves available to serve wherever they are assigned. Hundreds of thousands of faithful members participate in the unselfish service we call "temple work," which has no motive other than love and service for our fellowmen, living and dead. The same unselfish service is given by legions of officers and teachers in our stakes and wards and branches. All are uncompensated in worldly terms but committed to Christlike service to their fellowmen.
It is not easy to give up our personal priorities and desires. Many years ago a new missionary in England was frustrated and discouraged. He wrote home saying he felt he was wasting his time. His wise father replied, "Forget yourself and go to work."1 Young Elder Gordon B. Hinckley went to his knees and covenanted with the Lord that he would try to forget himself and lose himself in the Lord's service.2 Years later, as a mature servant of the Lord, Elder Hinckley would say, "He who lives only unto himself withers and dies, while he who forgets himself in the service of others grows and blossoms in this life and in eternity."3