Here are some recent quotes I have seen and heard and it has caused me to really question if I am ASKING God the right questions, LISTENING to the Holy Ghost when the answers come, and ACTING upon the answers given by the Holy Ghost. These things have become more important to me as I am trying to implement the new ministering program of the Church.
Tools we have been given
We have recently been given some detailed counsel from our church leaders. I have loved reading general conference talks, blogs, BYU Women’s Conference messages, stake conference and stake women’s conference messages. In our world today we are facing more temptation, more doubt, more discouragement, more fear, less patience, less understanding, less faith, less unity, less love.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we must be prepared to face what is coming our way. I say this out of motivation and in no way do I write this article to cause fear or concern. Only to make us aware of what is being said by our prophets and church leaders.
In unity and with the Spirit as our guide
The only way we can do this is by working together and completely allowing ourselves to be guided by the Spirit each day. That means that we must get ourselves into a place to hear and have the ability to act on what we hear.
So how? How do we accomplish this seemingly impossible task of living in a busy, chaotic world and yet always being in tune with the Spirit?
We are all in different times and stages of life. Some are young mothers struggling with the task of balancing two young children, a busy calling and being a supportive wife. Some are single whether through divorce, death or never marrying- the loneliness and lack of support can be debilitating. Many of us are entering a new stage of life whether that be having teenagers and helping them navigate their own lives effectively, becoming “empty nesters”, having children leave home for college, marriage, missions and dealing with a “shrinking family.” Wherever we are, whatever we need-Jesus Christ is there for us and He has given us the greatest gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion, to guide, comfort, give strength, revelation, knowledge and anything thing else we may need as He sees fit. By following Him, we can become instruments in His hands to bless the lives of many others and we are ministering to those around us.
Taking advantage of this great gift
- No matter what stage I have been at in my life and no matter what I am facing, I always know that if I put God first, everything will work out. What do I mean by that? Making sure that my life is in balance so that I can make time for personal scripture study and personal prayer. Making family prayer and family scripture study a priority as well. In-between sports practices, stinky diapers, dirty dishes and the laundry piles, if I put him first my day always goes better and I am more effective in the things I do and in building my relationships.
- If I don’t know the Savior- really know Him, not just know about Him; how can I expect that of my family and loved ones? Knowing Him will look different for each of us but for me it has come through study and true, honest, heartfelt prayer. Those prayers have often been in the car on the way back from dropping kids at school. Tears streaming down my face as I express concern for a child and plead for help. They have been offered during scripture study, trying to understand a gospel topic or replace fear with faith. For some it may be a day in nature, writing in a journal and pondering your life. However it works for you, make it work. Make the effort-it will never be a regret. When we put Him first, ministering to others becomes a natural part of our daily life.
- Stay focused on the most important things. As women, we like to think we can have it all and do it all-but that is 1) not true-something will always suffer and 2) not necessary. In this chaotic world we need to do as Christ told Martha (who I love and relate to so well) when she was feeling burdened and ministering to many.
38 ¶ Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha
received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
We must choose the “good part” over anything else.
- A big part of our new ministering efforts should be practiced on our families and those we love the most. Are we patient after a busy day, do we show love in our tone of voice when we answer a spouse or a child? Do we do the little things that let our families know they are loved?
- At the recent BYU Women’s Conference, Sister’s Aburto and Eubank shared some thoughts on ministering that I feel apply not only to those sisters who we minister to in our wards but also our families and those closest to us. Sister Eubank shared a scripture we are probably all familiar with but used in this context of ministering to each other, it had a profound impact on me. This scripture is found in D&C 64: 29 Wherefore, as ye are agents, ye are on the Lord’s errand; and whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lord’s business.
30 And he hath set you to provide for his saints in these last days, that they may obtain an inheritance in the land of Zion.
31 And behold, I, the Lord, declare unto you, and my words are sure and shall not fail, that they shall obtain it.
32 But all things must come to pass in their time.
33 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.
- We don’t have to do it all but we have to do what it takes to get our families back home to our Heavenly Father.
- A question these sisters asked was this, “What are you going to do to minister in a higher, holier way?” Consider this question carefully for your family and those you minister teach. How can we allow this new program to help us be one with each other and to draw closer to Him?
This program is not just a name change. It is a new way of doing things. It is a greater focus on listening to the Spirit and focusing our thoughts and concerns on others. I firmly believe that administering this program in our lives will save us and our families. As we turn our life focus to ministering as the Savior does, hearing and heeding the Spirit and then acting on promptings, we will be protected, strengthened and have a more grateful attitude for those blessings we have been given.
The children’s Primary song, “I’m Trying To Be Like Jesus” has taken on a whole new meaning for me. As I was at my daughters home helping with an adorable new baby, I heard her and her husband doing their nightly routine with their oldest through the bedroom door. As they read to him, sang and prayed with him, I heard this song. The words struck me with such force that this is where I need to be. To literally every day in my thoughts and actions, put my focus into “trying to be like Jesus in all that I do and say.”
We have had many challenges recently to members of the church from a living prophet. While I am still trying to catch up as well as encourage our family to follow all that President Nelson is challenging us to do, I know that what he is asking of us is coming from the Lord. As I was reading in The Book of Mormon again yesterday, it struck me that as President Nelson challenges us to do these things, I can approach them as Nephi did with a desire to know the things of God and then actively seek and follow, or I can have regrets and look back on my “old life” and the way things used to be and not choose to follow with my whole heart. This attitude will prepare me in my ministering efforts with others as well.
In no way am I saying, I am a Nephi, but I will say that I want to be a Nephi! I want to seek and follow exactly what Jesus Christ will ask of me. If we go forward in this life, let us go with God!