With historic changes at the 188th General Conference, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders expressed an importance of personal ministry among the members of the church.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson said he is thankful for the men of the priesthood and the service they provide in ministering to individuals and families in building the kingdom of God.
President Henry B. Eyring during the Priesthood session said, “The Lord’s plan for His Saints to provide loving care has taken many forms over the years. In the early days of Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph Smith needed an organized way to care for the flood of largely impoverished converts coming into the city.”
He further expressed changes to the Church’s priesthood quorums to help serve and care for one another. He shared the experience of a young man who ministered to several families in his ward as a home teacher. Although unsuccessful in meeting with the individual families every month, he continued what Latter-day Saints consider a duty to be in service of others.
“He periodically texted her,” President Eyring said. “Every month he sent a handwritten letter, supplemented with holiday cards for each child. He received no response. But she knew who her home teachers were, how to contact them, and that they would persist in this priesthood service.”
It was then the individual reached out to this young man in desperate need of priesthood ministry.
President Eyring’s message was a precursor to the announcement made by President Russell M. Nelson regarding home and visiting teaching programs being replaced by an approach known as “ministering.” This new approach is said to make a more personalized approach to reaching out to members of the Church.
Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, said loving ministry among members of the Church is a way for individuals to become more like Jesus Christ. She said personal ministry provides an example of discipleship and gratitude for God and Christ.
“How can I share the light of the gospel with this individual or family?” Sister Bingham asked. “What is the Spirit inspiring me to do?”
Sister Bingham described true personal ministry as looking for those who are lost and bring them back to the Church. She said sincere personal ministry is life changing and miracles will occur. Those who participate in fully in personal ministry will become more spiritually refined and more in tune with the will of God.
Several leaders of the Church have described the changes made in both ministering in others as well as in the restricting of the priesthood quorums a uniting effort to bring blessings to others.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said the new efforts will bring members closer to the gospel ideals, expanding on concepts already in place by the Relief Society.
He said he wishes every member of the Church no matter what age or gender will feel more committed to one another and motivated only by the love of Christ through personal ministry.
According to the letter “The quorum adjustments should be implemented promptly. The ministering adjustments may take some time but should be in place as soon as possible.”