“Making Ministering Meaningful,” Liahona, January 2022
It’s easy to wonder if our ministering is making a difference, especially when we’re facing our own struggles.
In my pre-wheelchair stage of life, I loved seeing a clipboard come around in Relief Society. I often signed up to give service. It was a way to show my willingness “to bear one another’s burdens” (Mosiah 18:8).
It wasn’t the clipboard’s fault I couldn’t sign up anymore. In fact, I couldn’t sign my name at all. Because of my disability, I couldn’t even hold the clipboard. No one expected me to sign it. But, oh, how I wanted to! Service encircles us with God’s love and connects us to others. I desperately needed that feeling of connection myself.
Because I needed people to help care for me, my service didn’t seem worth the effort it would require of others to help me. That clipboard became a reminder of what I could no longer do—at least until my ministering sister saw my longing.
She asked me what I would like to do to serve, not just what I needed done for me. Then she signed my name on the clipboard. She came to my home and helped me make the meals I’d volunteered to prepare for others. She never suggested that I was in need of so much help myself that I shouldn’t be trying to help others. She was happy to spend time with me.
In the end, I realized my efforts were worth it. With my ministering sister’s help, I was able to do something. Whether or not that something meant anything to anyone else, it made a difference to me. Though it didn’t directly benefit my family or heal my body, it helped heal my heart.
It’s common to feel inadequate to do the work of the Lord. The prophet Enoch felt that way too. When the Lord commanded him to call the people to repentance, he worried because he was “but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech” (Moses 6:31).
But the Lord promised that He would be with Enoch and that His Spirit would be upon him, and “all thy words will I justify; … therefore,” He invited, “walk with me” (Moses 6:34).
Enoch was obedient to what the Lord commanded, and he became a great influence on the people, not because of his own power but because of “the power of the language which God had given him” (Moses 7:13).
If you wonder if your ministering is meaningful, consider these principles:
Understanding ministering and its purposes will help us judge our efforts more accurately.
Ministering is about more than building stronger relationships; it’s about helping others strengthen their relationship with the Savior.1
Ministering is not just an assignment; it’s how we live our covenants to serve Him by caring for one another.
Ministering doesn’t follow a predetermined format. It stretches us as we adapt to the situation and seek inspiration to minister as the Savior would.
Understanding how God sees our ministering can change our perspective.
When our desire is good and we make a real effort, our ministering is meaningful to Him (see Doctrine and Covenants 4:2, 5).
Instead of worrying about what you don’t think you can do, prayerfully consider what you can do. Then act. As you act in the Lord’s name, He can magnify your efforts and use them to bless you and others (see 2 Nephi 32:9).