Ministering is Christlike caring for others. It is motivated by our desire to follow the commandment to love our neighbor and includes serving people out of concern for their spiritual and temporal well-being.
The Savior set an example of ministering during His life. He “smiled at, talked with, walked with, listened to, made time for, encouraged, taught, fed, and forgave” (Jean B. Bingham, “Ministering as the Savior Does,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 104). The Savior asks us to follow His example to “love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34).
We naturally minister to our families, those we love, and others around us. In wards, we also receive assignments as ministering brothers or ministering sisters to care for ward members in an organized way (see Moroni 6:4). We ensure that all are cared for and no one is forgotten.
Working together, elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies oversee ministering efforts under the direction of the bishop. Generally, each adult sister has two ministering sisters assigned to care for her and each household has two ministering brothers assigned to care for the members of the household. Occasionally, married couples may be assigned as ministering companions to better meet members’ needs. Beginning in January of the year they turn 14, young men and young women may be assigned to serve as ministering companions to adults.
As ministering brothers or sisters, we participate in quarterly ministering interviews, where we talk with our leaders about our efforts and specific strengths and needs of the people to whom we minister.
Ministering efforts can take many forms. Where possible, ministering brothers and sisters visit members in their homes. Interactions can also take place at church or in the community. The methods used will vary, from service of any type to a visit, phone call, email, or text. Individuals are unique, and effective ministering is individualized and led by the Spirit. Through prayer and inspiration, we will be blessed to know how to minister as the Savior did.
When we minister, we represent Jesus Christ as we watch over, lift, and strengthen those around us (see Matthew 25:34–40). We also invite them to come unto Christ and progress along the covenant path. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland invited us to “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” (“Be With and Strengthen Them,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 103).
First Presidency Letter: “Ministering with Strengthened Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums and Relief Societies”
“Ministering through Family History,” Ensign, February 2020
“Gathering Israel through Ministering,” Ensign, January 2020
“What the Christmas Story Teaches Us about Ministering,” Ensign, December 2019
“Are You Missing This Vital Part of Ministering?” Ensign, October 2019
“How the Spirit Can (and Will) Help You Minister,” Ensign, September 2019
“Can I Help Someone Change?” Ensign, August 2019
“How Can We Create a Culture of Inclusion at Church?” Ensign, July 2019
“Ministering Is Seeing Others as the Savior Does,” Ensign, June 2019
“Making Ministering Joyful,” Ensign, April 2019
“Developing the Empathy to Minister,” Ensign, February 2019
“The Purpose That Will Change Our Ministering,” Ensign, January 2019
“Communicate That You Care,” Ensign, December 2018
“Getting Help to Help Others,” Ensign, October 2018
“Counsel about Their Needs,” Ensign, September 2018
“Building Meaningful Experiences,” Ensign, August 2018
“Reach Out in Compassion,” Ensign, July 2018
“Five Things Good Listeners Do,” Ensign, June 2018