3: Working with a Mentor
    Footnotes

    3

    Working with a Mentor

    Have an opening prayer.

    Report:

    Let’s start by introducing ourselves to the group and sharing our experiences in working to keep our commitments this past week. As part of your introduction, please share the following:

    • Your name

    • Your mission

    • How long you’ve been back from your mission

    • An insight or question that came from keeping your commitments this past week

    The Role of Mentors in God’s Plan

    Read:

    Good mentors are important for our spiritual and temporal progression. They help us see ourselves as God sees us and help us make and keep commitments to become the person He wants us to become. Mentors can lift our vision, help us overcome unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, and inspire us to become better than we could become on our own.

    The scriptures contain several examples of great mentors. Eli mentored Samuel (see 1 Samuel 3). Alma mentored Amulek (see Alma 8–16). Mormon mentored Moroni (see Moroni 9), and Naomi mentored Ruth (see Ruth 1–4). We can find many other examples of people who have become greater with a mentor than they could have become on their own.

    Jesus Christ is the ultimate mentor. Despite Peter’s shortcomings, Jesus patiently mentored Peter and helped him become the leader that He could trust to lead His Church (see Matthew 16:18–19). Christ mentored Peter by loving him and seeing his potential, by asking him questions that challenged him to see and think differently (see Matthew 17:14–21), and by inviting him to make and keep commitments that would strengthen and shape him (see John 21:15–17).

    Discuss:

    How could a mentor help you navigate challenges and grow spiritually?

    Ponder:

    What challenges will you face over the next few years that a mentor could help you navigate? How could a mentor help you establish strong spiritual habits?

    Finding a Mentor

    Watch:

    “Thy Friends Do Stand by Thee.” (No video? Read the script below.)

    Elder Ronald A. Rasband

    Elder Ronald A. Rasband: “Some friends are wise and trusted mentors. They are a special kind of friend; they have gone before us, and the know the way. … A more experienced, trusted individual serves as an effective guide and adviser to a less-experienced person, helping to shape that person’s understanding and teaching principles that will make him or her more effective, stronger, wiser, and more valuable as a servant of God.

    “… Let me give you an example from my own life. … I first met Jon Huntsman in 1975, when I was 24 years old. I was an elders quorum president for a University of Utah married student ward, and Jon Huntsman was my high council adviser. We became friends, and in my senior year, as I was preparing to conclude my education at the university, Brother Huntsman recruited me as a sales representative in his plastics company.

    “One of my very first assigned accounts was Avon, the cosmetic giant headquartered in New York City. To get me started with that important client, Brother Huntsman personally accompanied me to New York City for my initial introduction. Excited to be entering into a new career and anxious to make a good impression, I wore my best brown college suit with a brown tie and brown loafers. When we met at the airport, I noticed that Mr. Huntsman gave me a peculiar look. But he didn’t say anything!

    “When we arrived in New York City, he told me there was a stop we needed to make before calling upon Avon. We went directly to a famous men’s clothing store known as Brooks Brothers on swanky Madison Avenue. On the way, I recall him saying to me, ‘Now, Ron, if you are going to be a salesman in my company, and if you are going to represent me to Avon, you are going to learn how to dress, how to act, and how to serve in this new role.’ And then he added, ‘You don’t wear brown suits in a business environment in New York City!’ Not representing Jon Huntsman at least!

    “Jon knew the people at Brooks Brothers, and he watched as they fitted me with a beautiful, dark gray, pin-striped suit—the nicest I had ever seen and certainly the nicest I had ever owned. After it was taken away to be tailored for a perfect fit, we picked out a shirt, some ties, a belt, and all the accessories. Next we went to the shoe department, where Jon introduced me to my very first pair of black wingtip dress shoes. …

    “… I remember my gratitude to Jon for sparing me the needless embarrassment of showing up in my college clothes. … Then it was off to Avon, where he introduced me as their new account representative from his company. Jon was teaching me much more than the importance of looking the part. He was introducing me into a whole new way of thinking, of doing things, of representing myself to others. He was mentoring me. This was the first of many such valuable lessons I learned from him” (“Thy Friends Do Stand by Thee” [Church Educational System devotional, Mar. 7, 2010], si.lds.org).

    Ponder:

    How did a mentor accelerate Elder Rasband’s progression? When have you felt that someone really understood you and the situations you face? How have they guided, corrected, or inspired you?

    Activity: (10 minutes)

    Invite someone to be your mentor. Here is one way you could establish a relationship with a mentor.

    1. Take five minutes now to list in your study journal a few people who could help mentor you. Consider people who understand the world you are trying to navigate and who exemplify traits and characteristics that you value.

    2. At home, pray about the people on your list and ask Heavenly Father to help you identify someone who would be a positive mentor in your life. Let the Holy Spirit guide you.

    3. After choosing someone who you feel could help you, ask him or her to be your mentor. Share your goals with him or her and ask for help and guidance in achieving your goals.

    4. If the person agrees to help you, discuss the expectations that each of you have. You could, for example, discuss how regularly you will connect to discuss your goals.

    Discuss:

    How have you found good mentors in the past? What worked in establishing a successful mentoring relationship?

    successful mentoring relationship

    Your stake may have self-reliance groups focused on education, employment, small business, or personal finance. Participating in one of these groups could help you find mentors. Contact your stake self-reliance specialist for more information about these groups.

    Commit:

    • Think about the missionaries and members who most positively affected you on your mission. Record in your study journal what it was about them that helped you.

    • Identify and invite someone to be your mentor.

    • Pray to know who you could mentor.

    • Share what you learned today with another returned missionary, another young single adult, or a member of your family.

    Choose an action partner for this week and take two minutes to share with each other the commitments that you feel impressed to work on. Decide how you will follow up with each other during the week.

    Have a closing prayer.