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In order to become a Zion people, we need to step up. That was made very clear in the April 2018 Conference. President Nelson talked about the need to have a “holier approach to ministering.” In other words, we need to define and develop our personal ministry. As we let the spirit work through us in this endeavor, we become His window, and HIS ministry begins to flow through us.
There is something very exciting in us deciding to take on a ministry. We’re choosing to do something more for the Lord than we’ve done before. We become a partner with Him in loving his children whether they be member or non-member. When the Lord ministers to others through us, we become “ministering angels” on this side of the veil. This is a very purifying and noble process that goes way beyond visiting 2 or 3 people and giving a message. Now He wants us to open to anyone He inspires us to serve. All we need is a desire.
The Lord has said “Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;”… (D & C 4: 3) Do you have the desire to become a Window for God? Then consider yourself called!
The people that are the most profound in our lives are generally those who in some way touch us at a deep level. Could there be a way that we can learn to move others in this way? The answer is yes! As we strive to be an “opening” for God to do HIS work, he can reach through us to touch people that we could never touch on our own, and in ways we never thought of. He does this because He can see others for who they really are. He knows them and what they need.
Elder Uchtdorf said: “In God’s kingdom, greatness and leadership mean seeing others as they truly are – as God sees them – and then reaching out and ministering to them. It means rejoicing with those who are happy, weeping with those who grieve lifting up those in distress, and loving our neighbor as Christ loves us. The Savior loves all of God’s children regardless of their socioeconomic circumstance, race, religion, language, political orientation, nationality, or any other grouping. And so should we!” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Greatest Among You,” April Conference 2017). Every one of us has the capability to touch others in ways that no one else can. The Lord will fine-tune our “window” to do what He would do if He were here.
A Phone Call that Made All the Difference
Many years ago after I lost an unborn baby, I was in a very low place. I lived in Mexico and it was prohibitively expensive to call or receive calls from my family in the U.S. I felt so alone. One day, I received a phone call from a sister-in law who told me that she felt strongly impressed to call me. I was happy to hear her voice and especially thrilled that God would prompt her to call me, but I was very concerned at the expense. I knew she was in great financial need, and it was two dollars a minute for that phone call! I kept trying to cut the conversation short, to ease her economic burden, but she cheerfully kept talking with me for over 30 minutes. After I protested, she said, “Don’t worry, money will come for this. I’ll just work a little bit harder.” But from that time forward, I was buoyed up and my depression ended. She was a Window for God that day. I could feel His love through her sacrifice.
Sometimes a phone call WITH NO AGENDA except to ask how the person is doing, will be all that is needed to lift someone out of a funk or a challenging circumstance. Your call may give others the tools they need at that moment.
I remember marveling at an older couple that often invited a certain man to dinner. Most people avoided this man because when engaged, he would talk nonstop for hours. He needed to talk, – and the Lord inspired this selfless couple to listen! They were ministering angels for Him.
When you visit people, ask them about themselves and then LISTEN. Ask about their children, work, the deceased husband, their health; anything that might be important to them. Focus on them rather than yourself. This helps them to feel like they matter.
Praying with Your Heart
Mother Teresa was a window for God. She felt prayer was one of the most powerful things she and others could do. In fact, as she began her inspired, world-wide “Missionaries of Charity” movement, she felt that there were many people who could help in addition to nuns. She wrote, “Everyone and anyone who wished to become a Missionary of Charity – a carrier of God’s love- is welcome, but I want specially the paralyzed, the crippled, the incurables to join, for I know they will bring to the feet of Jesus many souls.” (Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light, p.147) She felt that these prayer warriors were her co-workers, and made a significant difference in her “ministry.”
We can also make a difference in our ministries with our prayers. No matter what our level of health or activity, prayer is one of the most generous and significant things we can do. The more fervent our prayer for others, the more power we’ll have in being a conduit for the Lord.
Seeing Faces of Those in Need
I knew a woman who earnestly prayed to have faces of people she knew shown to her whenever they needed help. She often had a person’s face flash before her mind or come in a dream. When that happened, she knew that there was something that she needed to do for that person, and so she made contact. After talking with them, she would discover what that was. Sometimes they just needed comfort, but other times there was more. This was her ministry. She was a portal for Divinity.
Becoming a Window for God: Let It Flow!
We ALL can become a Window for God. This is a sacred trust. A window is clear and transparent. If we want God to flow through us, we have to SEEK the Spirit, and ASK for his guidance in our ministry. President Nelson said, “Nothing opens the heavens quite like the combination of increased purity, exact obedience, earnest seeking, daily feasting on the words of Christ…” (Russell M. Nelson, General Conference 2018)
What can you do to utilize the Spirit in your ministry?
MAKE A LIST of those you know, including the people you have been assigned by the bishop or Relief Society President, but also include anyone you know that you feel you may be able to help in some way. It could be your mailman, neighbor, co-worker, family member, old friend etc. When their names get put on your list, your ministry becomes real! You can become an earthly angel to minister to them, (not all at once), but as the spirit directs.
Look over that list (which you will continually add to). Who on that list is “calling” to you? What might they need? “Think OUT of the duty or obligation box.” Ask yourself: “Who needs me today?”
Only the Spirit Knows
The best way to minister to others is to help them with what they need at the moment. Only God knows that, and the more we open up to the spirit, the more He will tell us. We should write down these impressions. Know that THE SPIRIT WILL NEVER OVERWHELM US! The Lord will always give us time and means to accomplish what He wants.
Through simple yet profound things like nurturing, listening, making a list, and praying fervently for the spirit’s direction, we can have a holier approach to ministering, and create the change the Lord would make if He were here. We can be the Windows for God to let Zion roll forth!
You can CONTACT Anne at [email protected].