Myths about Ministering, Myth 6: “It doesn’t matter if I report my ministering efforts, especially if I didn’t do anything.”

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Part of ministering is a quarterly interview (or additional contact as needed) with a member of the Relief Society presidency to counsel together about the sisters to whom we minister, their needs, and our contacts with and service to them. It could be a brief, casual report or something a little more formal, and ideally would include both companions. And when a sister needs service beyond that which we or our companionship can provide, we need to contact a member of the Relief Society presidency or the bishopric to ensure that her and her family’s needs are met.

Why do we need to report our ministering efforts?

  • This is the Lord’s plan for seeing that every sister in the Church has at least two people who are looking out for her and to whom she can turn for help, and the Lord and those who administer the program have asked us to report. If that’s not enough, then
  • The ministering reports give the Relief Society president and, through her, the bishop, a good picture of how the ward is working (or not) as an extended support system;
  • The stake president needs to know about ministering in the stake, and it’s hard for him to know how things are going if he doesn’t have accurate reports; and
  • Reports of service let our ward leaders know the depth and breadth of, and needs for, service in the ward. If we think of ministering reports as unimportant numbers or statistics (even though they may represent an important program), consider that without the statistics we don’t know if or how well the program is working. Without our reports, our leaders can’t know if we are keeping the commandment to “sincerely come to know and love each sister, help her strengthen her faith, and give service” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church, section 9).

Even (or perhaps especially) if we are having problems with ministering, the quarterly interview gives us and the Relief Society presidency important information about what is happening with our sisters. And the interview is a good reminder to ponder and pray about our connections to our companion, our sisters, every sister in the ward, and most important, to the Savior.

“We are here on this earth to learn and grow, and the most important learning and growing will come from our covenant connection to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. From our faithful relationship with Them come godly knowledge, love, power, and capacity to serve.”

–Neill F. Marriott, “Abiding in God and Repairing the Breach,”

Edited and revised, 4 August 2018.

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