“How can I help plan fulfilling, worthwhile ward activities?” Ensign, Oct. 1991, 60
Rand A. Christensen, a member of the Yorba Linda Fifth Ward, Placentia California Stake. In September 1977, the Church provided for the calling of ward activities committees to plan and implement cultural arts activities, service projects, and sports and physical fitness programs. “Activities can be an effective tool in accomplishing the mission of the Church,” the Activities Committee Handbook reads. “Committees that plan activities to help Church members come to Christ are a valuable resource to the members they serve.”
The mission of the Church—bringing people to Christ—is divided into three main areas:
1. Perfecting the Saints.
The Curitiba Brazil North Stake sponsored a children’s day that included a play presented by the stake Young Men and Young Women organizations. The play’s theme centered on obeying parents and respecting nature.
Members of the Tucson Arizona North Stake produced a 23-minute video depicting a teenage girl making a difficult decision in a dating situation. The video involved a 25-member cast, including several nonmember youth. Others were involved in writing and production. Two investigators who saw the video were later baptized.
2. Redeeming the dead.
Youth in the Adelaide Australia Modbury Stake delivered 50,000 telephone directories to raise funds to make a 1,500-kilometer trip to the Sydney Australia Temple to do baptisms for the dead.
A genealogical seminar at the Roswell Georgia Stake center attracted more than 120 nonmembers.
3. Proclaiming the gospel.
Primary children in the Kahului Hawaii Stake participated in a fun run as a missionary project. The children ran two miles and earned $128 for the purchase of copies of the Book of Mormon. The next day the children wrote their testimonies in the books before distributing them among missionaries in their area.
Youth in the McAllen Texas Stake conducted a mass tract-out in nearby towns. The youth asked people if they wished to know more about the Church. Many referrals were obtained, resulting in teaching opportunities for the missionaries.
Generating ideas for meaningful activities can be easy; just think of what needs to be done for particular individuals in your ward, or what needs to be done in your stake or community. Question others or read the local newspaper for ideas. Then think of an activity that can meet those needs. The more needs met by an activity, the better.
Within each Church unit are creative, talented, and energetic members and nonmembers. Church activities are natural fellowshipping and missionary tools. The challenge is to involve these individuals in cultural and physical activities and service projects that meet their needs and improve the quality of their lives.
President N. Eldon Tanner said, “Activities … are a means to a very important end—the building of character and the building of a faith in God. Never let any activity be an end in itself.” (Church News, 6 July 1968, p. 11.)