Welcome your members to class and follow-up on any previous assignments. Briefly introduce changes concerning ministering:
Jesus’s life and ministry exemplify 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” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37, 39). As members of the Savior’s Church truly desiring to be His disciples, we should follow His admonition to love and serve our Father in Heaven and His children. “If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me,” the Savior said (D&C 42:29). King Benjamin taught, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). Alma summarized our duty by noting, “They did watch over their people, and did nourish them with things pertaining to righteousness” (Mosiah 23:18).
To help each of us respond to the divine mandate to care for and serve others, the First Presidency has announced the following adjustments, designed to focus the efforts of Melchizedek Priesthood quorums and Relief Societies on ministering as the Savior did. These adjustments include the following:
- At the ward level, one Melchizedek Priesthood quorum.
- At the stake level, one high priests quorum.
- Ministering replaces home teaching and visiting teaching.
- Including youth in ministering.
Discussion Question: What is ministering?
Write answers on the board. Then read the first presidency answer if needed:
The Savior showed by example what it means to minister as He served out of love for His Father and for each person (see John 15:9–10). He loved, taught, prayed for, comforted, and blessed those around Him, inviting all to follow Him (see Mark 8:34). As Church members minister, they prayerfully seek to serve as He would—to “comfort those that stand in need of comfort,” “watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them,” “visit the house of each member,” and help each become a true disciple of Jesus Christ (Mosiah 18:9; D&C 20:51, 53; see also John 13:35).
As members minister, they determine through communication and inspiration the frequency and type of contact they have with those to whom they give care. They counsel with and render an account to their leaders at least once a quarter regarding their service and the needs and strengths of those for whom they have been invited to care. Leaders report these ministering interviews each quarter; they no longer report the number of visits or contacts made to individuals and families. In addition, through a priesthood link to each member, ministering brothers and sisters form a communication network leaders may use in a time of danger or emergency.
Emphasize the importance of forming relationships with those around you. You may want to discuss the following quote from Casey Gerald, “You can’t serve those you don’t know, and you can’t solve what you don’t see.”
One way to begin ministering is to get to know the members of your Relief Society or quorum. Here is a handout of questions and answers about ministering from the First Presidency.
- Distribute one component of ministering to each member of the class.
- Have each person look over their sheet of information for several minutes.
- form groups of 5 comprised of Members A-E as labeled at the top of the sheets.
- Ask each person to summarize the information from their handout to their group.
Give several minutes for each group to complete this exercise. Walk around the room and gauge how much information has been covered in each group, to guide when to move on to the last piece of the lesson.
Once most of the groups have given each member a chance to share, ask the entire class:
- What information stood out to you?
- What thoughts and impressions did you have?
- What actions have you been inspired to take?
Conclude the lesson with your own testimony on the changes made by the First Presidency and the importance of ministering.
Want more ideas? Explore here.