“Ministering through the Children and Youth Program,” Liahona, October 2020
Opportunities abound for ministering through the Children and Youth program. Maybe you have children or youth of your own at home. Maybe you’re a leader in the program or you minister to families with children and youth. Or maybe you happen to know some children and youth (that should cover just about all of us). Whatever your situation may be, there are many ways to use the program or its principles to bless the lives of others.
At the heart of Children and Youth is a focus on trying each day to become more like the Savior, who ministered perfectly. Many of those who have participated in the program have learned that the more you progress in various areas of your life, the better equipped you are to help or minister to others.
But with the Children and Youth program, blessing others doesn’t have to wait until you’ve learned something. The act of learning itself provides opportunities to minister.
For a young man named Prophet living in Ghana, setting the goal in Children and Youth to learn how to play the piano was only the beginning. “It’s my goal to also help other people know what I am learning,” Prophet says.
Even though he’s not yet an instructor, his goal has already grown into something much bigger than he ever imagined. There are now 50 students taking piano classes at the meetinghouse alongside Prophet. And just who is teaching Prophet and those other 50 students? Alexander M. and Kelvin M., both age 13. “We want to show acts of kindness to other people,” Kelvin says.
Three days a week the two youth teach basic piano lessons for free to all who come to learn. There has been an added benefit to the piano lessons. Several of the students introduced to the Church through piano lessons later studied the gospel and decided to be baptized.
As we make efforts to improve ourselves, we can minister to others by inviting them to join with us.
As a stake Primary president, Sabrina Simões Deus Augusto of Curitiba, Brazil, has seen how the personal development aspects of the program bless the children and youth in her stake. But she has also seen many ways to use what she has learned about personal development in her assignment as a ministering sister.
“When I develop a talent,” Sister Augusto says, “I can use that talent to bless someone I minister to.”
Sister Augusto taught one of the sisters to whom she is assigned how to make chocolate truffles. That sister now makes and sells the truffles to help supplement her family’s income. “Months later, I was blessed when another sister taught me how to make honey bread that I could sell,” Sister Augusto said. “Developing and sharing our talents can bless each other’s lives and deepen our relationships as ministering sisters.”