The World, Satan, and Life typically separates us and keeps us feeling alone and powerless. But Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ gather us together in their arms in love. As members of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to mourn with those who mourn, comfort those in need of comfort, and extend the hand of fellowship to ALL man/womankind. Often we get swept away with the world, Satan, and life—and we forget.
It takes work and devotion to keep feeling those arms around us, and to extend that embrace amongst all those we see. We need to always be on the lookout, teaching and training those who will listen and learn, reaching out to those who are lost. Ours is to not judge unrighteously, but to gather in.
This short list sits heavily on me. If we could master these basic points we would be able to fulfill all of the commandments required of us. We get stumped, time and time again, by the world, Satan ,and life in general, and we must always be humble enough to accept the reminder when it comes.
- Consistency—It is very hard to be consistent, but only when goals are set, and ultimately reached, change, for good, happens. Ward Council is the perfect place to set these goals. As Satan keeps trying to separate us, let us use our councils to unite us, fight back, and take back those lost souls who fall through the cracks, or help the ward to move forward along the path we are all walking. As a unit, we can become strong, and stay strong, through consistent effort.
- Home Teaching/Visiting Teaching—The MAGIC of HT/VT is the feeling of love that will come and encompass the entire ward. If leaders only care about numbers, the ward will never think of visiting as anything other than a chore. Leaders need to first teach by example, and second, teach/remind with love. This program of HT/VT is the most important program in all of the Church. This is how we become the instruments in our Father’s hands, and fulfill the mourning and the comforting that we covenanted at the beginning. Numbers play a role as we challenge ourselves to greater heights, but 100% is only a part of it. Consistent performance will hopefully bring love, fellowship, companionship, and unity to the entire ward.
- Meaning—The world, Satan, and life destroy all things that are meaningful. They are all about fun and self-gratification. In contrast, all of our meetings should have meaning. We attend Sunday meetings to receive the Sacrament and feel the Spirit. We hold additional meetings to feel the Spirit, unite, be strengthened, and gain knowledge. Everyone who comes to any of these meetings should feel accepted, valued, appreciated, and loved. A simple smile and “thank you” go a long way in conveying the Spirit we all share; the Spirit is what adds meaning to our lives.
- Service—We all need to have a ward service project in which every ward member can participate. It might be consistent projects for the Humanitarian Center, a nearby Care Facility, or hospital, maybe regular aid given to the Homeless Shelter. Whatever it is, adopt it as a ward and offer consistent service. Involve the Youth, Children, Neighbors, members of the ward who don’t have a calling; this is something where everyone can help in some way.
Everyone should be given the opportunity to serve meaningfully and teach with consistency. The world would fill our minds with false images of importance. Gain a testimony of what the Lord finds as truly meaningful. Let yourself love people, and as often as possible, provide opportunity for all to serve. Do for people out of love. The world is full of hate and violence. The only antidote is to preach genuine love, acceptance, and unity. You will discover the secret to a happy ward (a happy life, a happy marriage, and a happy family) is to love.