We live in an extraordinary time when we have received so much revelation. Most recently we received instructions on how to best care for each other. We have been encouraged to use all available means to minister, take care of, and show our love for our fellow men and for God.
The guidance provided with the First Presidency’s April 1, 2018 letter on ministering teaches us that, “as Church members minister, they prayerfully seek to serve as He would—to ‘comfort those that stand in need of comfort,’ ‘watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them,’ ‘visit the house of each member,’ and help each become a true disciple of Jesus Christ” (Mosiah 18:9; D&C 20:51, 53; see also John 13:35).
We should use all available methods to console, watch over, and care for those to whom we are assigned to minister. These methods can include not only visiting, but the use of social networks, telephone, and email, even participating together in a sporting event or meeting on the street or in the market.
We will be more effective in our ministry if we understand that, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we seek to develop and deepen an attitude of ministering – an attitude of caring and watching over others. By developing this characteristic, we will not only naturally minister to our assigned families, but we will do so with everyone, especially with members of our own family.
The document from the First Presidency also states: “Ministering brothers and sisters seek to help individuals and families prepare for their next ordinance, [and] keep the covenants they have made”.
A higher level of serving is caring for others so that they prepare for their next ordinance and keep the covenants they have made. We can say that serving at a higher level helps others remain in the “covenant path” with the “end in mind.” The covenant path starts with baptism and confirmation as members of the Church and includes priesthood and temple covenants. Remaining in the covenant path includes partaking of the sacrament each week to renew all our covenants with their corresponding promises.
The gathering occurs on both sides of the veil. As we consider this, we realize that our ancestors who have passed away need the covenants of the gospel. Those gospel covenants can be provided to our beloved relatives through our service in the temple. We prepare them for their next ordinance by doing our family history. As we help them start the covenant path, we will increase our love for them. We will learn things about their lives that will help us to understand them and the Spirit will bear witness of the key role of families in the eternal design of our God. Through these efforts, we minister to our ancestors so that they can have the necessary priesthood ordinances and covenants to achieve exaltation and eternal life.
We invite our members to always live worthy of a temple recommend and to prepare others on both sides of the veil for “their next ordinance [and to] keep the covenants they have made”. We can invite our living neighbors to receive the gospel by being baptized in the Church. We can invite all members of the Church to partake of the sacrament every Sunday. We can minister to our ancestors by doing family history and temple service.
I bear witness that we are living in a wonderful time with open heavens. I know that ministering to one another on both sides of the veil is a higher manifestation of love for one another. Doing family history and temple service will help us to better center our lives in Jesus Christ.