Among the exciting changes to the way we minister is who we get to minister with. Young women ages 14 and up can now serve as ministering sisters with the Relief Society. This seems a long time coming, as the young men have had the opportunity to serve in this capacity for many years now.
When my 14-year-old daughter heard about the changes, she did a fist-thrust into the air. This excitement for ministering will be contagious.
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The young women of today are strong and savvy, an untapped resource of faith and support. Their unique perspective and light will prove to be a blessing in the lives of women throughout the church.
Ministering the Lord’s Way—What We Need
The purpose of Relief Society is the save souls, as Joseph Smith prophetically proclaimed. With charity in our hearts and expressions of charity in our hands, we can bring the manifold of the grace of the Atonement to our sisters. We all need it. Every one of us needs His peace, His strength, His love. Every one of us needs to be seen. Everyone needs to chance to take a step closer to Christ.
The purpose of Relief Society is to prepare women for the blessings of eternal life. We do that by making and keeping covenants. We do that by coming closer to Jesus Christ.
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As ministering sisters, we have the privilege of working side by side with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the great work of saving souls. We may feel our part is insignificant. But to Them, it is not.
Elder Uchtdorf shared a story once of a large statue of Jesus Christ in a small town that was severely damaged during a World War II bombing. They were able to repair the statue except for the hands. Rather than make new hands or tear down this symbol of faith, the people of that city added these words to the base of the statue: “You are my hands.”
“There is a profound lesson in this story,” Elder Uchtdorf relayed. “When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. . . That is was He did during His mortal life; it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples. . . our hands become His hands; our eyes His eyes; our heart His heart.”
It is a wonderful notion that we are the hands of Jesus Christ, doing the very things He would be doing if He were walking among us. Wonderful and humbling, indeed!
But it is not all about the sisters we serve. Elder Uchtdorf went on to say that “as we extend our hands and hearts towards others in Christ-like love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, more receptive to the whisperings of the Spirit.”
Ministering is not only the way others can come closer to Christ but how we can as well. And when we feel His love, we, in turn, want to give that love to others.
“As we contemplate with reverence and awe how our Savior embraces us, comforts us, and heals us, let us commit to become His hands, that others may feel His loving embrace.”
I second this touching plea by Elder Uchtdorf.
I hope you come away from this series of articles with a deeper understanding of what ministering is and your divine role in it. I hope you can see the blessings that come to your sisters and you as you willingly commit to be the hands of Christ within your sphere. And I hope you know how much you are truly loved by God and His Son. This is why we are asked to minister—because They love us and want all of us to draw closer to Them, one call at a time, one text at a time, one impression at a time.
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This is ministering. It’s about doing what she needs, and that is exactly what we need.