“Be With and Strengthen One Another,” Liahona, January 2021, 34–35
At its best, ministering isn’t a one-way street. When we minister to someone, everyone involved is blessed—ourselves, our companions, and those we minister to. We are blessed by each other’s strengths. We are blessed as we support and help one another in our challenges. We are blessed by the relationships that are created.
When explaining what it means to minister to others, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught us to “be with and strengthen them” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:53).1 In this scripture, there are two essential elements that will help us minister to those we care about:
First, to “be with” them suggests that it is important to get to know those to whom we minister well enough to build a meaningful relationship and create a bond of trust.
Second, once they know that we truly love and care about them, we can discuss ways we could support and “strengthen them.” In turn, we will also be strengthened.
People aren’t projects; they’re our brothers and sisters—fellow travelers in the journey of life. We want to be walking through life together, helping each other find the strength to overcome the obstacles and stumbling blocks along the way (see Hebrews 12:10–13).
The word “strengthen” expresses what we really desire—that our help provides assistance and tools so that each individual can have the resources and strength to move forward and overcome life’s challenges.
Many of us feel inadequate to help our brothers and sisters with their unique concerns. Elder Holland gave this encouragement: “In spite of what we all feel are our limitations and inadequacies—and we all have challenges—nevertheless, may we labor side by side with the Lord of the vineyard, giving the God and Father of us all a helping hand with His staggering task of answering prayers, providing comfort, drying tears, and strengthening feeble knees.”2
This year, these Ministering Principles articles will provide ideas and resources that can help you understand how to be with and strengthen others as they face life’s challenges.