Myths about Ministering, Myth 4: “She is (or I am) only going to be in the ward for a short time, so we won’t be able to develop any kind of relationship—she’ll be okay without ministering sisters for that little while.”
“My husband and I moved to Vienna, Virginia, from Utah for a three-month assignment. We didn’t even transfer our records to our new ward, so they were not technically responsible for [ministering to] me. I was pleased and surprised when [ministering sisters] contacted me and came to see me each month while we were there. I was having health problems and I was unable to attend church meetings on some Sundays, and because I was afraid to drive in the Washington, D.C.-area traffic, I did not attend homemaking meetings (as they were called then). And yet I felt welcome and loved in that ward. I still have a little gift that those [ministering sisters] brought me. I don’t remember their names, but I will always remember their faithfulness and friendship.”
When we accept an assignment to be a ministering sister, we promise the Lord that we will serve in that capacity, no matter how long we or the sisters we teach will be in the ward. If a sister is assigned to us for only one month, that sister will be blessed (and so will we) by contacting her that month. Yes, it can be difficult to develop a new relationship with a sister we don’t know. But the Lord has promised us the spiritual gift of charity (the pure love of Christ—Moroni 7:47) and has commanded us to “follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 14:1). By praying for the spiritual gift of charity with regard to our sisters, we are praying that the Lord will open our hearts to the love He has for those sisters. The Lord knows each sister perfectly and loves her completely, and can bless us with a portion of His love for her, so that we can serve her and bless her life even if she is assigned to us for only a short time. As we pray for each sister and ask the Lord to bless us with the gift of His love for her, we will be prepared to receive personal inspiration to know how to respond to her needs. The Spirit will bless us, also, as we grow in love and in our testimonies of ministering.
And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.–Doctrine & Covenants 88:125
Edited and revised, 4 August 2018.