Just As He Did by W. Christopher Waddell
Content by Lindsey Corry
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
I’ve reflected on these verses over and over as I’ve read through this week’s talk. To me, ministering always fell in the category of the second commandment. Love thy neighbor. Take them dinner when they’ve had a baby, mow their lawn when they’re out of town, take cookies when they’re having a bad day, etc. Throughout the years, I’ve tried to do just that. I’ve prayed to find ways to serve others, and have not been disappointed!
In his talk, Bishop Waddell quotes Elder Andersen saying, “A person with a good heart can help someone fix a tire, take a roommate to the doctor, have lunch with someone who is sad, or smile and say hello to brighten a day. But a follower of the first commandment will naturally add to these important acts of service."
Say what?? I’ve been given a lot to reflect on in my own ministering with this statement. If I am truly ministering in the pattern that Christ has set for us, I will have a “higher goal than meeting the immediate need.” The Savior “wanted to do more than take care of today. He wanted those around Him to follow him, to know Him, and to reach their divine potential.”
I don’t know about you, but this makes me feel so much more vulnerable! Just like last week’s talk about missionary work, I start to feel inadequate. I get nervous to share things that are so near and dear to my heart. But when I reflect back on past ministering experiences, I can see that when I involve the Lord, and when I truly have a desire in my heart to help bring someone closer to Christ, my service is magnified. And our friendship is blessed.
Bishop Waddell shares a touching story of his brother receiving blessings from ministering just before his death. What struck me the most from this story was the theme of friendship. Too often, I let myself get in my own way. I think that I will scare away my friends if I open up at all about my love for the Savior or invite them to share in the joy of the gospel with me. Bishop Waddell clears that up for me. He says of John, his brother’s friend, “John was first a friend, providing frequent encouragement and support—but his ministering didn’t stop at friendly visits. John knew that a minister is more than a friend and that friendship is magnified as we minister.”
I testify that as we love God and serve Him with all our hearts, we will find that our acts of service are able to help others come unto Christ. And as we minister to those we love, we will find our friendships are deepened and enriched as a result.
FAITH IN ACTION
“Whether we serve as ministering brothers or sisters, or simply when we are made aware of someone in need, we are encouraged to seek the guidance and direction of the Spirit—and then to act. We may wonder how best to serve, but the Lord knows, and through His Spirit we will be directed in our efforts.”
As you minister to those around you this week, spend some time consulting with the Lord beforehand. Ask for his guidance and direction as you prepare to serve others. See what a difference it can make when we involve the Lord in our ministering—and then share with us on Instagram!
“As we seek the guidance of the Spirit and trust the Lord, we will be placed in situations and circumstances where we can act and bless—in other words, minister.”
In this week’s Come Follow Me study, we will spend some time in Matthew 20.
Matthew 20:28 reads: “Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Christ gave us the perfect example of ministering. He met the needs of those he served, and also encouraged them to come unto Him. Let us look for those opportunities as we minister to become more like our Savior.
“As we seek to minister just as He did, we will be provided opportunities to forget self and lift others.”
“While there are many purposes of ministering, our efforts should be guided by the desire to help others achieve a deeper individual conversion and become more like the Savior.”
This week, think of ways you can help your sisters strengthen their individual relationship with the Savior.