Liahona
Ministering with Greater Knowledge


“Ministering with Greater Knowledge,” Liahona, Jan. 2023.

Ministering Principles

Ministering with Greater Knowledge

You don’t have to have all the answers, but coming to know Him better will help us minister as the Savior did.

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Christ in the Temple

Detail from Christ in the Temple, by Heinrich Hofmann

Jesus Showed Us a Pattern of Learning

As the Savior grew, He “waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him” (Luke 2:40). The term waxed means to gradually grow, like the moon growing fuller over the course of the month. Luke adds that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Jesus didn’t suddenly have a fulness of knowledge—He acquired it over time (see Doctrine and Covenants 93:12–14).

When Jesus was 12 years old, His parents found Him in the temple—the central place of worship in Jerusalem—“sitting in the midst of the doctors, and they were hearing him, and asking him questions” (Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 2:46 [in Luke 2:46, footnote c]). Because learning had been an important part of His growth, when the opportunity came to teach those in the temple, He was prepared. His teaching there had an astonishing effect on them and on His parents.

Using Knowledge in Ministering

Here are three ways that developing the Christlike attribute of knowledge can help us in our ministering:

  1. As we come to know the Savior and learn about His attributes, we will know better what He would do to minister in our place.

  2. As we increase in gospel knowledge and understanding, we will be in a better position for the Holy Ghost to bring to our remembrance what we need when we need it (see John 14:26). This can help us understand the needs of those we minister to and answer their questions or concerns.

  3. As we increase our ability to learn, we will be better able to connect with or serve others. We may learn more about a subject to connect with a friend who is interested in it. Or we may learn certain skills that could help meet a need.

Gaining knowledge can help us minister in many ways. In addition, “whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:18).

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Scripture study

Developing Knowledge

How can we develop the Christlike attribute of knowledge? Here are some thoughts:

  1. Remember that even Jesus learned gradually over time. Be diligent, but be patient with yourself. Learning happens “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30).

  2. Learn to identify trustworthy sources of information. (See “Finding Truth in the Misinformation Age” in the October 2022 digital Liahona.)

  3. Be curious. Learn from what’s happening around you every day. Ask questions. Read good books and stay informed. (See Doctrine and Covenants 88:79, 118; 90:15.)

  4. Learn by study and by faith (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:118). Your ability to understand truth in any subject will be improved by pairing your best intellectual effort with your best spiritual effort. Live so you can have the help of the Holy Ghost.