“Emphasis on Ministering,” Ensign, May 2018
Home teaching and visiting teaching will be retired, President Russell M. Nelson announced during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference. “Ministering,” a “new, holier approach” to Christlike caring for others, will provide a coordinated effort to help meet members’ spiritual and temporal needs.
Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also spoke about how this new approach will better focus the efforts of Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and Relief Societies on ministering as the Savior did (see pages 101 and 104).
Laurels and Mia Maids may now serve as ministering companions to Relief Society sisters. In a quarterly interview, ministering brothers and sisters will counsel with leaders about the needs and strengths of those they are assigned. The number of interviews leaders had during a quarter will be the only formal report made. Visits are important when possible, but ministering does not include a prescribed way to keep in contact each month.
“Youth can share their unique gifts and grow spiritually as they serve alongside adults in the work of salvation,” Sister Bingham said. Involving youth also increases the number of members caring for others and helps the youth “better prepare to fulfill their roles as leaders in the Church and the community and as contributing partners in their families.”
“We at Church headquarters don’t need to know how or where or when you make contact with your people,” said Elder Holland; “we just need to know and care that you do make it and that you bless them in every way you can.”
According to a letter from the First Presidency, the ministering adjustments may take some time but should be made as soon as possible. Ministering.lds.org provides additional details, including answers to frequently asked questions. Instructional videos and other resources will be added to the website over the coming weeks.
Beginning in June, the Ensign and Liahona will include a monthly feature called “Ministering Principles” to help members understand how to be more Christlike as they minister to each other.