18 And it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year, behold, I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great favors shown unto them, and great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto them—
19 Showing his body unto them, and ministering unto them; and an account of his ministry shall be given hereafter. Therefore for this time I make an end of my sayings.
(3 Nephi 10:18-19)
What does it mean to minister?
The concept of ministering appears many times during the account of the Savior’s visit to the American continent. For example, Mormon tells us that:
- The Savior ministered to the people (3 Nephi 10:19, 19:2, 19:15, 26:14).
- Angels appeared and ministered to the people (3 Nephi 17:24, 19:14-15, 23:9, 11).
- Jesus commanded the twelve disciples whom he chosen to minister to the people (3 Nephi 12:1, 13:25, 19:7-8, 28:16, 18, 26, 29).
- He commanded members of His church to minister to each other and to those who were not of their faith (3 Nephi 18:28, 30, 32, 26:19).
“Ministering is learning of and attending to others’ needs” (“What Is Ministering?” on ministering.lds.org). It is customized service, adapted to the needs of the individual. Often, when we participate in a service project, we have a general idea that we are doing good, but we can’t tell whether we are meeting the most important needs of the recipients. In contrast, when we minister, we serve with a clear understanding of the needs of specific individuals and families. Our service is therefore more focused and more effective.
As President Russell M. Nelson has taught:
A hallmark of the Lord’s true and living Church will always be an organized, directed effort to minister to individual children of God and their families. Because it is His Church, we as His servants will minister to the one, just as He did. We will minister in His name, with His power and authority, and with His loving-kindness (“Ministering with the Power and Authority of God,” General Conference, April 2018).
Today, I will strive to follow the Savior’s example by ministering wisely and effectively. I will strive to understand the needs of the people around me and to serve them with wisdom and with compassion. I will remember that a defining attribute of Jesus Christ, His angels, and His disciples is that they minister to others.