Today in church we talked about ministering to others. Personally, I do not feel like there has been a change… well maybe in vocabulary and that is it. I believe that God has always ask us to be ministers.
The dictionary says that to “minister” means to attend to the needs of others.
Christ has always ask us to attend to the needs of others. In fact, we made a covenant to attend to the needs of others, to morrow with those who mourn, to lift the feeble knees, to stand as witnesses at all times… always. Programs may have changed, Names may have changed. Policy and procedures may have changed. Doctrine has not changed! We are under the same expectations to look after the needs of others.
Jesus asks us to minister as He ministered. President Spencer W. Kimball taught, “Never did the Savior give in expectation. I know of no case in his life in which there was an exchange. He was always the giver, seldom the recipient. Never did he give shoes, hose, or a vehicle; never did he give perfume, a shirt, or a fur wrap. His gifts were of such a nature that the recipient could hardly exchange or return the value. His gifts were rare ones; eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and legs to the lame; cleanliness to the unclean, wholeness to the infirm, and breath to the lifeless. His gifts were opportunity to the downtrodden, freedom to the oppressed, light in the darkness, forgiveness to the repentant, hope to the despairing. His friends gave him shelter, food, and love. He gave them of himself, his love, his service, his life. The wise men brought him gold, and frankincense. He gave them and all their fellow mortals resurrection, salvation, and eternal life. We should strive to give as he gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift.” (The Wondrous Gift, p.2).
I think Ammon is a great example to look to to gain a better understanding of how we are to minister to others. He gave himself fully to teaching and ministering. He grew a strong testimony from scripture study. He prayed all the time and ask that he might be an instrument in God’s hands. He fasted often. He listened to the Spirit and acted on promptings. Nearly everyone I know that knows the story of Ammon loves to hear how he “disarmed” the bad guys. But his story is bigger than save the king’s sheep. Here are the main things I have learned about ministering from Ammon:
- We must develop a desire to help other recognize the hand of God in their lives and to come unto Him.
- We must always serve. We must be out and about among people. We must be willing to “get our hands dirty.”
- We must prepare for service by fasting, praying and studying the scriptures.
- We must believe that we can make a difference in this world, that we can “Be the light.”
- We must be “anxiously engaged” or constantly looking for opportunities to serve.
- We must do our best to keep the commandments.
As we figure this all out and get better and better at ministering we will get to know God better. We will eventually be able to sit at the right hand of God. I believe this is the main purpose of the gospel… to learn to serve and to love as the Savior did and does.