Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ministering that Matters

The Savior Jesus Christ came to earth to minister to others, spending His days in their service and giving His life for their salvation (see Matthew 20:27–28). As disciples of the Good Shepherd, we look to Him as our example and we follow His command: “The works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do” (3 Nephi 27:21).

During a visit to England in 2011, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said when members of the Quorum of the Twelve minister, they seek individuals, following the “one by one” principle found in the Book of Mormon (see 3 Nephi 11:1517:21) and helping “to lift, to bless, to do something to help an individual or a family.”
Elder Bednar added: “While I’m in England, the Lord sent me to find a one,and along the way I get to participate in a bunch of meetings, and maybe some good will be done. But the keys of the kingdom were sent here to find a one. You don’t talk to a congregation; you talk to assembledones.3
When we minister, we should seek and heed promptings from the Spirit. As President Monson has said, “If we are observant and aware, and if we act on the promptings which come to us, we can accomplish much good.”
Heavenly Father’s children in our day—both young and old—need nurturing. Latter-day Saints have covenanted to provide that care by bearing one another’s burdens, by mourning and comforting others, and by standing as witnesses of God (see Mosiah 18:8–9). Ministering that matters includes love and compassion, a listening ear, prayers and priesthood blessings, temporal and spiritual support, and teaching by the Spirit.
“We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness. … We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.” (President Thomas S. Monson)

One of the most effective ways we can minister to Heavenly Father’s children is through the home teaching and visiting teaching program.

As we magnify our ministry as home teachers, we will also prayerfully prepare for our visits and seek guidance and inspiration from our Heavenly Father in assessing and meeting the needs of the families and individuals—including the children—we home teach.
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) called home teaching an inspired program that “is the heart of caring, of loving, of reaching out to the one—both the active and the less active.” He added: “There is no greater Church calling than that of a home teacher. There is no greater Church service rendered to our Father in Heaven’s children than the service rendered by a humble, dedicated, committed home teacher.”

These statements also apply to visiting teaching.  Here is a video with more from Elder Bednar:

Excerpts taken from the March 2014 Ensign, Ministering that Matters.

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