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Heart-Wrenching Comments on Ministering

Heart-Wrenching Comments on Ministering

For those who didn’t read it, I wrote an article, We Have To Raise The Bar On Ministering, on the need to improve our ministering, specifically in the way we care for people spiritually. We need to be in homes more and bring the word of God. We often lie to ourselves and say that people don’t need in-home visits, when everyone does to one degree or another.

The comments I received on that article were very much in agreement with what I was trying to convey, but a few were pretty heartbreaking. We as a people as starving for connection and spiritual nourishment. 

I want to share some of the most powerful comments I received below. As you read them, please consider what you might do to minister more effectively in a Christ-like way.

Do Something!

So often this subject is taught. It’s a joke really. I keep with the Gospel of Jesus Christ because I know it is true. Ministering and fellowship are so diluted. I can understand why some disconnect from the Church.

I notice the “fruits” of the gospel are advertised much but on a local level so much is neglected. Many of the older members are simply forgotten. My blood boils. Nevertheless I’ll keep with it with the hope one day leaders will “DO SOMETHING!”

Help Me Take Stock Spiritually

Yes, the lie that I have heard given to me. You don’t need my visit. Yes, yes I do. It means you care enough about me to come to my home and help me take stock of where I am at, spiritually, emotionally, physically etc.

I try to minister to my sisters the same way. Don’t ask me after Sacrament when I need to hurry to teach Primary “How are you doing?” When my daughter passed away a week ago.

Tears Were Shed

In my opinion your article is spot on. I took the missionaries with me to visit my ministering families in December and had the most amazing spiritual experiences. Tears were shed for no apparent reason, other than the Spirit was testifying that we all were in the right place doing what we should be doing.

All of my families are active and none of them would think they need help, and may not, but the purpose is the Savior’s purpose, and that is to minister.

It Takes Time

I appreciate the thought put into this article. I can tell you from personal experience we don’t need a monthly visit. If we need help, we ask for it. How do we know when we need help? We pray about it. I have a sister that does not want anyone come into her home. It has been hard to go from being “told to go every month and having a message already there for us to give.”

Now on a quarterly basis its, “Do whatever the Spirit tells you.” In a way the brethren are encouraging us to be more self-reliant in how we handle our brothers and sisters. I am sure we need to do more, but it takes time for some to go from being hand held in what we do and say to autonomy.

Nothing Can Substitute Face to Face

I have been trying to teach this message in Relief Society. Many felt like nobody needed to visit and nobody needed visits when the new program came out. However, I feel it is even more important to visit our members in person than ever before in order to develop real relationships and build trust and learn to know one another. How can we serve those we do not know?

There is nothing that can substitute for being face to face and touching or hugging those who need that touch so desperately. Thank you for reminding us to do more and do better in fulfilling our sacred duties to love and care for those in our keep.

Alone or Abandoned

What I noticed is that a lot of people talked about what “counts” as ministering, what is not required to do, what can we do to help others? A lot of emphasize was put on the DO’s and DONT’s. But in my view we minister not to DO something, but to make sure that everyone is visited, watched over, cared for, and/or supported on their journey on the covenant path. That we don’t let anyone wonder around, get lost or feels out of place, like they don’t belong there.

I sometimes think and say, “I don’t care too much about people leaving the church because they don’t believe in certain doctrines. I do hate people leaving the church, because they misunderstood something, felt alone or abandoned, felt like there wasn’t a place for them, mistreated etc.” Because that means that I (or we) failed in our duty/calling to strengthen those around us (and thus in our call to minister)

In addition, we also minister to help the bishop watch over his flock, so he doesn’t have to check in with everyone, but knows who needs his limited time and resources because the members know who needs that little extra support that ministers can’t provide. (like financial support, relational support etc.)

I Can Count on One Hand

I’ve been an active member all my life, and from the comments in the article, it is evident that the sisters who made a few of them, have not gone to God and received revelation as to how to best serve the sisters. I am elderly and could have used some help with my yard etc., and since the church came out with the inspired ministering program, I can count in one hand the times I have been approached.

I am not a negative person, I am just reporting my experience with it. Most of the time, I have not known who it was. One time I looked on the computer and found out it was the wife of one in the bishopric, and the other sister was in the primary presidency…Just sayin. Sometimes a hug in the hallway or a smile goes a long way.

When we observe the Savior ministering to others, we learn ways in which we can improve our ministering skills little by little. – Elder Walter F. Gonzalez