“Ministering through Come, Follow Me,” Ensign, September 2020
Whether you’re with your family, in a Sunday School classroom as a teacher or student, or at school, work, or somewhere else, Come, Follow Me offers ample opportunities to minister to others. Teaching, after all, “is more than leading a discussion on Sunday; it involves ministering with love and blessing others with the gospel.”1
When Ofelia Trejo de Cárdenas was called to teach young adults in her Mexico City ward, she felt that having a close relationship with each of her Sunday School students would increase her ability to teach and strengthen them.
“If I don’t have a close relationship with my students and if they don’t feel my love, they may not believe me when I’m teaching a class or bearing my testimony,” she says. “They may feel that I’m just a Sunday School teacher.”
But how could Sister Cárdenas develop such a relationship if she taught only once every two weeks? She found the answer through technology. Using the mobile phone application WhatsApp, she and her students were soon connecting daily through text and voice messages. Now, every day before the next Sunday School lesson, a class volunteer sends to other class members a verse of scripture from that next lesson with a related personal thought. After reading the verse and the thought, class members respond with their own thoughts.
“When they read the scripture, they send a happy face so I know they have read or studied the scripture and that they have thought about it,” says Sister Cárdenas. When it’s time for the next Sunday lesson, the students are prepared to participate.
This daily connection recently blessed one young adult whose parents are not active in the Church.
“I love it when I see him come to church because I know that to get there, he had to go through several challenges,” says Sister Cárdenas. “I’m sure that the scriptures and thoughts his classmates have sent out and the scriptures and thoughts he has sent out when it was his turn have strengthened him a lot.”
Sister Cárdenas says ministering through the scriptures doesn’t stop with her Sunday lesson and her class’s daily scriptural connection.
“My preparation includes praying for my students,” she says. “I think of them not only on Sunday but every day of the week as well. Each of them has specific and different needs. Each is a child of God. I think about them while I’m preparing my lessons.”
And when she teaches, she listens—both to her students and to the Holy Ghost.
“The teacher is the Spirit,” which she often hears in the voices of her students. “I have to pay attention because what they say is the revelation that the Spirit is giving to them.”
Carla Gutiérrez Ortega Córdoba feels blessed to be a member of Sister Cárdenas’s Sunday School class because of its nurturing and ministering environment. Carla attributes that environment to several factors, including:
Preparation: Sharing scriptures and thoughts helps students prepare for the next class. “Daily scriptures nourish us and expand our knowledge,” she explains.
Participation: “We all speak. This allows me to know my classmates more deeply, as friends and as brothers and sisters.”
Love: “Sister Cárdenas takes you by the hand. Our class feels like home evening, with several brothers and sisters. It’s very special.”
The Holy Ghost: “We have a pleasant, harmonious spirit in our class because we’re on the same page with the Spirit.”
Testimony: “Come, Follow Me has helped me be ready to share my testimony. I have a deeper knowledge of the Book of Mormon and the Bible. That allows me to share what I’m learning with my classmates at school and people at work.”
When Greg and Niki Christensen, from Kentucky, USA, read about the Abrahamic covenant in the scriptures with their three sons, they found it difficult to explain to them. They decided as a family that each of them would study the Abrahamic covenant on their own and then share what they found.
“We got some interesting comments,” Greg says. “Our eight-year-old learned that Abraham’s name used to be Abram. His name changed to Abraham because he made a promise to the Lord to turn from sin and to live a righteous life. I was really surprised that he was able to come up with that.”
They all learned something new and had a good discussion about what the Abrahamic covenant is and what it means for Latter-day Saints today.
“We used to just go around the room and take turns reading scripture verses for our family scripture study,” Niki says. “Come, Follow Me is geared more toward teaching by the Spirit. Now when we study together, I feel little nudges from the Spirit to take our discussions in a different direction based on our family’s needs.”
Using Come, Follow Me has not only helped their family be more engaged and interested in family gospel study, but it has also helped Greg and Niki minister to the spiritual needs of their children.
“Come, Follow Me helps me teach my children,” Niki says. “It also helps me handle different challenges I sometimes have with my children. I feel more in tune with the Spirit, I listen more closely, and I’ve received promptings on how I can help each child.”
Greg enjoys the longer gospel discussions that Come, Follow Me helps generate in the family. “Our sons are all different in where they are with their gospel knowledge,” he says. “Come, Follow Me has provided a way for us to help each of them learn based on their needs. Seeing them grow in their love for the gospel and watching them figure out how they can apply gospel knowledge in their lives has been a wonderful blessing.”