Friday, April 13, 2018

Ministering (Again)

A shock rippled around the world on April 1, 2018. During the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference, President Nelson announced:

We have made the decision to retire home teaching and visiting teaching as we have known them...'

It's amazing how many thoughts went through my head during the short pause. My first thought was, “Oh my goodness. I finally have a shot at making it to the Celestial Kingdom!

My next thought was, “Those programs are how the Church works. I can't see them being abandoned. What's coming?”

President Nelson continued:

 ...Instead, we will implement a newer, holier approach to caring for and ministering to others. We will refer to these efforts simply as “ministering.”

Following President Nelson, two talks given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Sister Jean B. Bingham expanded upon the meaning of ministering and shared some of its new administration details. One sentence in Elder Holland's talk jumped out at me:

“In an effort to move us closer to that gospel ideal, this newly announced priesthood and Relief Society ministering concept will include, among other things, the following elements, some of which the Relief Society has already put in place with wonderful success.

 A memory of a tag I created 6 years ago for this blog popped into my mind (above). We've  been preparing for some time to make this change. Posting these tags again, I remembered the early excitement I felt. The following are still good resources about the definition of Ministering and how to minister to others until the Ministering website is fully expanded. (Of course, the administration parts about reporting, etc., in these old sources are now obsolete.)
April 2, 2012 Blog Post
This isn't a new concept, but a continued focus on the word, "ministry", was new for me. One early focus on ministering comes from the book, Daughters in My Kingdom, chaper 7, ‘Pure Religion’: Watchcare and Ministering through Visiting Teaching.

This topic was followed up in the March 2012 Ensign:

The April 2012 Visiting Teaching Message continued to address ministering and Sister Beck mentioned it in her April General Conference address.

I believe the Visiting Teaching messages for the remainder of 2012 also covered aspects of ministering. December 2012 does...

For me, the irony is that while we are ministering to others, we are actually ministering to ourselves. In the process of ministering, we are also strengthening, growing, and hopefully becoming more like the Savior. Ministering is truly our best shot at becoming worthy to enter the Celestial Kingdom. But best of all, by ministering to others, we are also ministering to our Savior, who has done everything for us, and without whom we would have nothing and be nothing.  

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

I am still retired from this blog, but wanted to share these resources with those who are teaching the 4th Sunday Relief Society classes on Ministering in about a week!

Thanks for visiting,


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