In April 2018, the Church announced that ministering would replace home teaching and visiting teaching. The initiative was made in order to more effectively care for one another, and several Church leaders have spoken on the topic since. Here are eight quotes from leaders on the topic:
1) President Russell M. Nelson, April 2018 general conference:
“For months we have been seeking a better way to minister to the spiritual and temporal needs of our people in the Savior’s way.
“We have made the decision to retire home teaching and visiting teaching as we have known them. Instead, we will implement a newer, holier approach to caring for and ministering to others. We will refer to these efforts simply as ‘ministering.’
“Effective ministering efforts are enabled by the innate gifts of the sisters and by the incomparable power of the priesthood. We all need such protection from the cunning wiles of the adversary.”
2) Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, April 2018 general conference:
“Brothers and sisters, we have a heaven-sent opportunity as an entire Church to demonstrate ‘pure religion … undefiled before God’ (James 1:27) — ‘to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light’ and to ‘comfort those that stand in need of comfort,’ (Mosiah 18:8–9) to minister to the widows and the fatherless, the married and the single, the strong and the distraught, the downtrodden and the robust, the happy and the sad — in short, all of us, every one of us, because we all need to feel the warm hand of friendship and hear the firm declaration of faith. However, I warn you, a new name, new flexibility, and fewer reports won’t make an ounce of difference in our service unless we see this as an invitation to care for one another in a bold, new, holier way, as President Nelson has just said. As we lift our spiritual eyes toward living the law of love more universally, we pay tribute to the generations who have served that way for years. Let me note a recent example of such devotion in hopes that legions more will grasp the Lord’s commandment to ‘be with and strengthen’ (Doctrine and Covenants 20:53) our brothers and sisters.”
3) Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, April 2018 general conference:
“Sometimes we think we have to do something grand and heroic to ‘count’ as serving our neighbors. Yet simple acts of service can have profound effects on others — as well as on ourselves. What did the Savior do? Through His supernal gifts of the Atonement and Resurrection — which we celebrate on this beautiful Easter Sunday — ‘none other has had so profound an influence (on) all who have lived and who will yet live upon the earth’ (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”). But He also smiled at, talked with, walked with, listened to, made time for, encouraged, taught, fed, and forgave. He served family and friends, neighbors and strangers alike, and He invited acquaintances and loved ones to enjoy the rich blessings of His gospel. Those simple acts of service and love provide a template for our ministering today.
“As you have the privilege to represent the Savior in your ministering efforts, ask yourself, ‘How can I share the light of the gospel with this individual or family? What is the Spirit inspiring me to do?’
“Ministering can be done in a great variety of individualized ways.”
4) President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, April 2018 general conference:
“It seems to me that we receive the Holy Spirit best when we are focused on serving others. That is why we have the priesthood responsibility to serve for the Savior. When we are engaged in service to others, we think less about ourselves, and the Holy Ghost can more readily come to us and help us in our lifelong quest to have the gift of charity bestowed upon us.
“I bear you my witness that the Lord has already begun a great step forward in His plan for us to become even more inspired and charitable in our priesthood ministering service.”
“To minister spiritually can begin with baking cookies or playing a basketball game, but eventually this holier way of ministering requires opening your heart and your faith, taking courage in encouraging the positive growth you are seeing in a friend or in expressing concerns about things you see and feel that are not consistent with discipleship.”
6) Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, BYU Women’s Conference devotionalon May 4:
“Each day, in myriad ways, we each need and can offer ministering love and support in small, simple, powerful, life-changing ways.”
7) Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the Mission Leadership Seminar on June 24:
“Our loving Heavenly Father gave us two great commandments as our target and divine motive for our service as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. They are to love and serve God and to love and serve God’s children.
“Fail in these two commandments and we fail in all. …
“Our Church service is one of loving and caring for God’s children and has no beginning or end. We don’t finish ministering, we don’t finish loving, we don’t finish praying, and we don’t finish thinking about those whom God has put in our path.”
8) Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Missionary Training Center devotionalin Provo, Utah, on June 24.
“I have found that most significant spiritual experiences occur when we are helping and serving others and accomplishing the Lord’s purpose.”