In April 2018, President Russell M. Nelson announced, “We will implement a newer, holier approach to caring for and ministering to others. We will refer to these efforts simply as ‘ministering’.”1 We appreciate that we can be guided and inspired by continuous revelation in this mortal life. Ministering is learning of and attending to others’ needs. It is doing the Lord’s work. It is our privilege to represent Jesus Christ and act as His agents to watch over, lift, and strengthen those around us. And in return, when we minister to the spiritual and temporal needs of others in the Savior’s way, we will be fortified.
During the past months, I have observed many faithful members proactively and enthusiastically ministering to others. In many wards and branches, ministering interviews are also being conducted effectively between ministering brothers and their priesthood quorum leader, and ministering sisters and their Relief Society leader. Ideally, both ministering companions participate in person in the ministering interview. When meeting in person each time is impractical, some interviews may be held by phone, online, or so forth. Ministering interviews are held at least once per quarter, and priesthood quorum and Relief Society leaders can interview ministering companionships as often as needed.2
Ministering interviews are absolutely crucial and “will be the key to the quality and success of our ministering for generations to come.”Elder D. Todd Christofferson
As President Russell M. Nelson has explained, the purpose of the ministering interview is to counsel together about the well-being of assigned families and individuals.3 To achieve meaningful and successful ministering, leaders should conduct inspired ministering interviews with humility, love, and faith in the Lord. Sister Li, Hui-Chih, Relief Society President,Pingtung Ward, Pingtung Taiwan Stake once testified, “Effective ministering requires the guidance of the Holy Spirit. During ministering interviews, I can deeply feel the influence of the Holy Spirit working upon me. I can comprehend how God brings to pass His great work by small things.”
I acknowledge that many faithful ministering brothers and sisters have provided customized service to their assigned families and individuals. Such ministering includes: visiting in person, talking on the phone, offering service, accompanying the lonely, consoling the sick, inviting members to get together for church activities, sharing scriptures, encouraging members to pray, sharing testimonies, etc. Miracles have occurred after ministering brothers and sisters have humbly ministered to others by providing these small and simple acts of service. The faith of members has been strengthened in the midst of anguishing trials. Less-active members have returned to activity and are attending sacrament meetings. Jobless members have found new jobs and returned to activity. Some families have returned to activity and received the blessings of being sealed in the temple. Young men have begun preparing for full-time missionary service, and young single adults have served as full-time missionaries. As Alma taught his son Helaman in the Book of Mormon, “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass”.4
Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught, “It’s vital that ministering brothers and sisters have an opportunity to give an accounting of their service, how are they watching over, loving, teaching, comforting, and assisting in the Savior’s way. And it is vital for priesthood quorum and Relief Society leaders to become informed and then understand the circumstances and needs of those whom they preside. The ministering interview is more than a report.” Leaders should also “counsel, teach, and minister” during a ministering interview. Ministering interviews are absolutely crucial and “will be the key to the quality and success of our ministering for generations to come.”2
Sister Sun Sung Pi Hung, Relief Society President, Nantun Ward, Taichung South Taiwan Stake has shared, “After holding a ministering interview with a companionship of ministering sisters, I meditated for several days about some challenges facing one of the companionship’s assigned families. I then received inspiration to recommend to our bishop that the mother of the family be called as a Relief Society teacher.” Now that the mother has begun serving as a Relief Society teacher, her family has been blessed with more reconciliation with God. The sisters of the ward have also been blessed through her service as a teacher.
I testify that ministering and ministering interviews can help us humbly rely on the promptings of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our service and our daily lives. Our faith in the Lord will be fortified while we are ministering to others in His way with love, kindness, and patience. As we keep the two great commandments, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”5and “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”6, we are promised this: “[We] shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.”7. ■
1 Russell M. Nelson, “Ministering”, General Conference, April 2018.
4 see Alma 37:6.
5 see Matthew 22:37.
6 see Matthew 22:39.
7 see D&C 59:23.