Latter-day Saint Life

Pres. Nelson’s #99plus1 invitation: Ideas for reaching out to ‘the one’ this summer

President Russell M. Nelson holds a child with his wife, Wendy, by his side in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, April 20, 2018.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

With 100 days before his 100th birthday, President Russell M. Nelson invited us to celebrate with him in a unique way.

“One spiritual offering that would brighten my life is for each of us to reach out to ‘the one’ in our lives who may be feeling lost or alone. Over the coming months I invite you to consider prayerfully: who do you know who may be discouraged? Who might you need to reconcile with or ask for forgiveness? Has one name been on your mind lately, though you haven’t quite known why? As you bring these questions to the Lord, He will inspire you to know how you can reach out and lift one who needs help.”

Since then, Church members are contemplating how they can help “spread the love of Jesus Christ throughout the world.” While lifting others can create a far-reaching impact, our efforts to reach out don’t need to be time-consuming or extravagant to be meaningful. And whether you already have your own plan of action or are still prayerfully considering what “reaching out to ‘the one’” looks like for you, here are a few suggestions that may help spark some ideas.

First, we asked our LDS Living social media followers how they are taking this invitation to heart. Here are some of our favorite answers:

    • I made 24 loaves of bread to take to 24 people and spread President Nelson’s birthday message.
    • If anyone’s name pops into my mind for any reason, I try to reach out or drop something by.
    • Look towards those close to you. Sometimes those closest might need us too
    • I ask each morning to find someone who needs a ray of sunshine. God never fails to answer!
    • Actually asking how someone is doing instead of just wondering!
    • Using summer holidays as an excuse to drop off a little gift or treat.
    • I’m giving the book I Will Not Leave You Comfortless to a grieving friend.

    Additionally, the Church’s website recently shared some unique ideas for serving families, mothers, and young children. A few suggestions that stood out to us include:

      • Help children read aloud. Nothing improves children's cognitive skills more than reading with adults who care about them.
      • Dance, jump, climb, and play on the floor with children. Movement aids in developing children’s brains and strengthening their growing bodies.
      • Plant a garden and share the produce with your neighbors.
      • Help a child with homework after school.
      • Speak to your local schools about their goals for nutritious meals and snacks. Consider what parents and the community can do to help.
      • Give books as gifts and share the reason you specifically chose it for that person. Having books in the home provides the opportunity to learn and develop.
      • Ensure a private and supportive environment at church and work for mothers who breastfeed or pump.
      • Encourage regular physical check-ups to get needed care, including preventative care, pre and postnatal care for pregnant women, and routine vaccines for children.
      • Find other refreshments besides sugary treats for church activities, sports practice, and after-school snacks.

      And here are a few more creative ideas sourced from across the internet:

        • Pray for the name of someone who needs support.
        • Reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while.
        • Thank your bishopric and other Church leaders for their service.
        • Forgive someone.
        • Prepare and take a family name to the temple.
        • Invite someone who may be lonely over for family dinner.
        • Bear your testimony of how God has supported you.
        • Ask your bishop or branch president if there is anyone who could use some support.
        • Offer to go on visits with the missionaries in your ward or stake.
        • Volunteer to teach in Primary so those teachers can attend Sunday School or Relief Society.
        • Sit down and make a list of the things that are most important in your life. Prayerfully ask yourself how you can give more of your time and attention to these things.
        • Send a thoughtful note or card to someone who has blessed your life.
        • Offer to babysit for a family in your ward or neighborhood.
        • Offer to drive someone to church who doesn’t have transportation.
        • Cook and deliver a meal to someone who may be hungry or financially struggling.

        If you’re looking for something more specific to your area, you could also search for a project on JustServe to help serve someone in your community.

        The opportunities to serve “the one” are truly endless, especially if you approach President Nelson’s invitation prayerfully, as he counsels. While each of these activities may seem small, your light, love, and selfless actions can make a world of difference to the person (or people) you serve.

        There’s no better way to celebrate President Nelson’s birthday!

        ▶ You may also like: 3 hurdles that keep us from ministering—and how to get over them

        Heart of the Matter: What 100 Years of Living Have Taught Me

        In Heart of the Matter, President Russell M. Nelson reflects back on his one hundred years of living and the lessons he’s learned over the past century, including the core truths he has come to know matter most for this life and the next.

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