To read the full article on, click here

This first of four articles provides Latter-day Saints a resource to integrate and serve ward members with special needs. Members with disabilities can be vital, successful, contributing members of their wards, we hope this resource can help reach that goal.

Christ-Like Ministering

Emotional and behavioral disorders affect members of all ages, in most wards today.  They include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit-Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Eating Disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia among many others.

Recognizing an individual’s disability is the first step toward understanding how to help them feel that they are an important and contributing member within the ward family.

There’s much more information about each condition available today than ever before.  We’ve been given more ‘light and knowledge’ in our dispensation than in previous ones and it is up to each of us to meet the call and mission to ‘love our neighbors’.

President Uchtdorf said:

 What the Savior would want to know is how we love and minister to those in our care.

Understanding the challenges that people with emotional and behavioral disorders face is a key component in developing ways to serve and help them become effective members of the ward.

This article will hopefully address and answer these questions on how to minister to, serve and teach ‘the one’.

  • What stigmas (fears) may ward members have about a person’s particular disorder, if any, that can be alleviated?
  • Who needs to know pertinent general facts about the disorder in question, and who needs to know more personal information about the individual and his condition, to  provide the most effective solutions?
  • How can understanding the various aspects of a disorder help to meet the issues and problems associated with the special needs member?
  • Who are the people with the most influence, knowledge and importance in these members’ lives, and who in the ward has the potential to become such?
  • What interests does the individual have that may be beneficial in helping with the process of assimilation, develop connections with other members and enable growth and fellowship?
  • What specific needs must be addressed and met initially, and what further questions need to be asked for service to continue; and, who is best qualified or in the best position to ask such questions?
  • What suggestions, ideas, or tools may be helpful in guiding ward members who serve with the emotional/behaviorally challenged person?
  • What activities, ideas, opportunities and possibilities are appropriate for these individuals integration and spiritual growth?

Take Time to Understand an Individual’s Disorder

Those in leadership positions need to know and understand  basic information about an individuals’ disorder in order to fully and effectively serve and minister to the emotionally/behaviorally challenged.

This basic information can be used in training others who are involved in service, teaching and associating with the these special members from auxiliary leaders, class teachers/advisers, quorum presidencies, home and visiting teachers to bishoprics.

Every member can benefit and learn to help these individuals blend by working with them in one-on-one situations, in classroom and congregational settings.

National Associations’ professional websites carry a great deal of information about specific disorders, and the disorders with similar symptoms.

To read the full article on, click here