*Note: Long quotes are labeled 1-4. If you would like to distribute them to participating members of your class to read aloud, download them here:Ministering Quotes Handout
Welcome class members and follow-up on any previous assignments.
Discussion question: What is the purpose of ministering?
From Oct 2014 Conference address by Jeffery R. Holland:
(Quote 1) In what would be the most startling moment of His early ministry, Jesus stood up in His home synagogue in Nazareth and read these words prophesied by Isaiah and recorded in the Gospel of Luke: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and … set at liberty them that are bruised.” Thus the Savior made the first public announcement of His messianic ministry. But this verse also made clear that on the way to His ultimate atoning sacrifice and Resurrection, Jesus’s first and foremost messianic duty would be to bless the poor, including the poor in spirit. From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus loved the impoverished and the disadvantaged in an extraordinary way. He was born into the home of two of them and grew up among many more of them.
President Nelson has labeled recent changes a newer, holier approach to caring for and ministering to others. How can we ensure that it is in fact a “holier” approach?
Discussion Question: Who do we minister to?
God wants all of His Children to be watched over and cared for. President M. Russell Ballard said, “All leaders and members of the church need to be careful not to just minister to those names on a list, but to minister to all of Heavenly Father’s children.”
Discussion Question: What things prevent us from ministering?
Read and discuss Mosiah 4:17-19
Discussion Question: What are ways to minister to all of Heaven Father’s children?
- Help the poor and needy as Holland has stated:
(Quote 2) For one thing, we can, as King Benjamin taught, cease withholding our means because we see the poor as having brought their misery upon themselves. Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t the rest of us do exactly the same thing? Isn’t that why this compassionate ruler asks, “Are we not all beggars?”11 Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us.
- Read John 13:34-35. We are not asked to judge whether a person is deserving or not, we are asked to love.
- Fast and Pray, including a generous fast offering
- The First Presidency has stated:
(Quote 3) As citizens we have the privilege and duty of electing office holders and influencing public policy. Participation in the political process affects our communities and nation today and in the future. We urge Latter-day Saints to be active citizens by registering, exercising their right to vote, and engaging in civic affairs. We also urge you to spend the time needed to become informed about the issues and candidates you will be considering. Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles.
- Our vote can be a force for good, as so poignantly stated by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in Oct 2012:
(Quote 4) I cannot speak for the welfare of children without implications for the choices being made by citizens, public officials, and workers in private organizations. We are all under the Savior’s command to love and care for each other and especially for the weak and defenseless. Children are highly vulnerable. They have little or no power to protect or provide for themselves and little influence on so much that is vital to their well-being. Children need others to speak for them, and they need decision makers who put their well-being ahead of selfish adult interests.
- We are one of the richest nations in the world. Ministering begins with ministering one by one to our spouse, family, friends, and neighborhood, but the end goal is to minister to ALL of God’s children, as our Savior Jesus Christ has shown. We can strive to teach in the Savior’s way, minister in the Savior’s way, and yes, even vote in the Savior’s way.
It is important to pray for guidance on who to minister to, and how to do it. If we are in tune with the Spirit, we will receive guidance, just as President Thomas S. Monson did described here (watch or listen). What impressions came to you while listening?
Have members write down impressions they have received on who to minister to, and how. As time permits, ask class members to share impressions they have received throughout the lesson. Close with your testimony.
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