What is ministering? As Elder Holland so eloquently reminded us. The Savior knew He would be wrapping up His time with His “little band of followers.” Rather than leave them with a bunch of reports to fill out or or list a dozen steps they should take, He left them with one bit of advice in a fundamental commandment; Love One Another as I have loved you. By this shall ye know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
As was said in Alma’s day, we are commanded to watch over the people and nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness.
When President Nelson announced this, and I had the privilege of being at the Conference Center, there was truly a rush of revelation that you could feel. Elder Holland, when explaining, kept saying, we need to mature in the gospel. This feels so right. In every leadership calling I have ever held, I felt so strongly the need and importance of ministering. Administering was the amazing calling of my secretaries to make sure that the administration part of our calling was taken care of. I was taught clearly to love and teach the people and to do it one by one in the way of leading a church organization.
However, there are so many ways to minister to those we are as asked to watch over and care for individually in our relief society and priesthood organizations. These one on one relationships can be the kind that will last a lifetime if we approach this from the Savior’s perspective and the examples He has given us.
3 Nephi 11
15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.
16 And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:
17 Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.
Ministering one by one
I felt that this entire Conference from the Solemn Assembly to the announcement of Ministering Teaching went back to this scripture…”and this they did do, going forth one by one, until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands and did know of a surety and did bear record that it was He…”
In the solemn assembly we were asked to stand one by one and sustain our leaders one by one with the raise of hands. As we did so, we all clearly saw the emotion in President Nelson’s eyes and the strength that he received through that process. I LOVED that during that assembly, I felt that MY VOICE mattered, that I was making a difference as we one by one sustained a prophet of God.
In this church we do many things ONE BY ONE. We are baptized and confirmed individually, we are given temple blessings individually, we take the sacrament individually. Through Him, we are ministered to and minister, individually, one by one.
When I was called to serve in a stake calling, I was counseled by the Stake President to teach the leaders of the wards what I had learned as a ward leader. That was, to minister one by one. I had some really strong promptings at the time to share the idea that “the one” may be different every Sunday or every activity. That “the one” may be the Stake Presidents daughter or it may be a girl who is less active. It could be a person you least expect it to be but that the Lord will clearly guide us as we minister to the one.
A new law
In listening to Elder Holland explain a little more about our new ministering efforts, I could not help but think of when Christ came and the Law of Moses became the Law of Christ. That old things were done away with and now it was important to live a higher law. This, ministering we have been called to do is a higher law. It will require much more effort for each of us to feel the Spirit and be in tune with the needs of “the one.” I have a strong testimony though, that as we pray for those who we are to minister to, that revelation will come clearly as to what they need.
Sister Bingham said in her talk to help explain this concept, “Our service to others is a demonstration of discipleship and our gratitude and love for God and His Son Jesus Christ.” She then gave many examples of ways that we can minister to others.
Ideas for simple acts of service:
sharing a smile
helping to heal a heavy heart
sharing the gospel
attending a soccer game
sharing a quote
studying a gospel question
becoming a part of someone’s life
caring for a child
a small gift
a kind note
planting a garden together
attending temple together
doing family history together
going to lunch
playing a game
regular visits to someone who is lonely
Keeping up with their life
Pray to know
I know without a doubt that as we continually pray for guidance on how to minister and to whom we should minister to, it will come clearly. Our Heavenly Father loves each of His children dearly and as we are on this earth together, we can be His hands for one another. If we ask, each day who and how, it will be given.
One last quote from President Nelson. In our desires to minister as the Lord would have us, that personal revelation must come. He said, “Nothing opens the heavens quite like the combination of (1) increased purity, (2) exact obedience, (3) earnest seeking, daily feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon, and (4) regular time committed to temple and family history work.”
As we listen to and act upon the words of our prophet, we will be able to more effectively raise our sights and increase and improve our ministering efforts through the guidance of the Holy Ghost.