2019
Ministering

Area Presidency Message

Ministering

Throughout His life, the Savior ministered to others one-on-one, one-by-one. At the end of His first day with the Nephites after His resurrection, the people wept when they He told them that he had to leave.

Seeing their sadness, He called out to those who had gathered, saying: “Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.” Moved by his deep compassion, he invited them to think of someone in need and to minister to him or her: “Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither.”1

His clear and sweet command was for one person to bring one other person to him. It was not just an invitation to visit, but to actually “Bring them hither.” Jesus continued: “Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them.”2 His repeated invitation was for one to take one to the Savior.

The Nephites did exactly as He invited them to do: “it came to pass that . . . all the multitude . . . did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner.” The scripture records that the Savior “did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.”3 Note that they were healed only after they were brought to the Savior, that is, only after one took another to the Lord. There were many in those days who needed the Savior’s healing touch—and there are many now.

If we bring our fellow members of the Church to Him one by one, He will heal and strengthen each in every way that matters in time and eternity.

Bringing another person to the Savior is called ministering. We bring another person to the Savior by loving that person, praying for him or her, and helping that person to learn the word of God from the scriptures. We bring another person to the Lord by mourning with one that is mourning, serving a person in need, and taking that individual with us to sacrament meeting. We minister by bringing one to participate in all of the ordinances of the gospel (especially those of the temple) and helping him or her to keep the covenants associated with the ordinances. By doing these things, we bring the one who we are helping to the Savior so that He can bless that person.

We promised the Lord we would minister one to another when we joined the Church and were baptized: “As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort”4 When we keep this baptismal covenant, He always keeps His promise to send His Spirit to always be with us.5

To have always have His Spirit with us is the greatest blessing we can receive, for the Holy Ghost will guide us to all truth, will bring Heaven’s comfort, will sanctify us, and will give us the strength we need in both spiritual and temporal things. Too many people say, “I will minister to someone else once I have enough money and more time to do it.” Others say, “I will think about helping others after God blesses me with more things.” To think like this is to put things in the wrong order. The key to success now and in eternity is to put the Lord first. We are to show Him by our actions that we truly love him more than anything else. So, we keep the covenants we have made with Him. Inasmuch as we do so, we enable Him to bless us in His time, in His way.

We are organized in the Church to help each of us as members of the Church to minister one to another—as well as to those not of our faith. We are organized so that one who is “strong in the Spirit [will] take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.”6 The elders quorums and Relief Societies, the youth Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women classes should be organized to help members minister one to another, so that one takes one to the Lord.

The leadership of the Adenta 1st Ward of the Accra Ghana Adenta Stake is making an organized effort to help the members minister one to another. Just a few months ago, after viewing the Area Plan broadcast and hearing President Nelson’s charge, they decided to identify: (1) who will take whom to receive the next saving ordinance; (2) who will help whom to take a name to the temple; and (3) who will take whom to sacrament meeting.

In their ward council, they asked each other: “Who will take whom to receive the next saving ordinance?” The Relief Society and elders quorum presidencies identified six couples to be sealed and assigned ministering brothers and sisters to take them with them to the temple. As a result, two couples have received their endowment and are sealed together and to their families. The other four couples are progressing and soon will enter the temple. They also identified eleven persons to prepare for the endowment, and three of them have now received the endowment and the seven others are preparing well. I saw them as they were preparing to enter the temple and their faces shone with joy.

They asked themselves, “Who will help whom take a name to the temple?” They identified recent converts and youth and assigned their ward family history consultants to work closely with the new converts, and they organize a monthly trip to the Ghana Accra Temple to do baptisms for the dead.

They also asked themselves “Who will take whom to sacrament meeting?” They are working with the full-time missionaries for the members and missionaries to coordinate so that members will take a nonmember to sacrament meeting. They could also have an active member family bring another member family to sacrament meeting.

Their bishop testifies: “I know from the bottom of my heart that the gospel is restored and that leaders of the Lords’ Church are called of God. And if we sustain them by obeying their counsel we will find joy, peace and happiness in our individual lives and families.” His first counselor stated: “The joy I saw in the faces of Brother and Sister Tsiagbe and Bro and Sis Sedzro even as I sat in the sealing room of the Accra Ghana Temple was indescribable. The joy of sealing under the priesthood is indeed a testament of the restored gospel.”

It is important for us as a people to minister in the Lord’s way, one taking one to the Lord. An essential key to make this happen is to participate regularly in a ministering interview with a member of the elders quorum presidency, or the Relief Society presidency. The ministering interview is a time that we sit in council and receive the revelation we need to help us minister as the Savior would to individuals!

Brothers and sisters, are you ministering, one to another, one taking one to the Savior? Are you participating in ministering interviews? I promise that if you do, you will come to know the Savior and receive a greater portion of His Spirit.

The Nephites who accepted the Savior’s invitation to bring someone in need to Him learned that it is those who minister to another person that draw closest to the Savior: “And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him.”7 You will notice that both the whole and the once-infirm together ended up at the Savior’s feet! This is what the Lord and our living prophet want us to do: to come to know the Savior. They know that as we bring another person to Christ, we will both draw closer to Him and come to know Him.

President Russell M. Nelson has stated: “A hallmark of the Lord’s true and living Church will always be an organized, directed effort to minister to individual children and God and their families. Because it is His Church, we as His servants will minister to the one, just as He did. We will minister in His name, with His power and authority, and with His loving-kindness.”8

May we minister to one another, one taking one on the covenant path to the temple is my prayer and desire. As we do this, we will experience the Lord’s hand being manifest in our lives individually and as a people.