President Nelson previously shared in General Conference an experience he once had with an African tribal king. When the king experienced the power of the Savior's words in 3 Nephi, he stated, “If I am converted and join the Church, I will bring my whole tribe with me.” President Nelson responded, “Oh, King…it doesn’t work that way. Conversion is an individual matter. The Savior ministered to the Nephites one by one. Each individual receives a witness and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” 1
The unique nature of every individual, combined with different upbringings and life experiences, make the children of God uniquely different from each other. Therefore, every individual’s conversion and the support each need is also quite different. The Lord said, 'Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.' 2 The Holy Ghost is the most critical part in the ministering process to help us meet the innermost needs of others.
Conversion is an individual matter. The Savior ministered to the Nephites one by one. Each individual receives a witness and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.President Russell M. Nelson
The Holy Ghost also helps us identify the ones we need to minister to now. When we ask in prayer, 'To whom should I minister?” our Heavenly Father will let us know the person’s name through the Holy Ghost. Once we obtain this name, we can then discuss with our families how to use family and church resources, as well as activities, to begin the ministering process. Remember, in addition to meeting current needs, there is also a more noble purpose. That is, to help others have opportunities to achieve their full potential, draw closer to God, and live a happier life.
Our ministry is to help others have opportunities to feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost, thus allowing them to act for themselves and walk along the covenant path.
How to share our testimony more naturally is outlined in the following principle of ministering: 'A testimony doesn’t need to begin with the phrase, `I’d like to bear my testimony,’ and it doesn’t need to end with, `In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.’ A testimony is an expression of what we believe and know to be true. So to visit with your neighbor on the street about a problem she is having and to say, `I know that God answers prayers,’ can be as powerful as any testimony shared from the pulpit at church. The power doesn’t come from flowery language; it comes from the Holy Ghost confirming truth.” 3 Another way to share our testimony more naturally is to use various web apps to share 'Light the World' messages with friends, punctuated with a simple and sincere testimony.
There are many opportunities and occasions for us to invite people to come and see. In December, we can invite friends to branch, ward and stake Christmas activities, view the First Presidency Christmas Devotional broadcast, and attend sacrament meeting. In these meetings, our friends can feel for themselves the joy of having the Holy Ghost in their hearts and the fellowship of our brothers and sisters. We can invite friends to participate in “Light the World” service activities; share the December 'Light the World' calendar, which lists recommended regular service activities; or other ward and stake service projects. It is through service that the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ are truly manifested and by which we can personally come to know the true, pure, and simple gospel of Jesus Christ. 4
A service-minded missionary was assigned to serve in a country with a totally different language and culture than his own. In prayer, he was inspired to go out and serve those he was to teach. By serving others, even without speaking a word, he could convey his testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the restoration of the gospel. The eyes of those he served radiated their understanding and gratitude for the testimony he conveyed.
Ministering one by one is the way of the Savior. During this Christmas time as we celebrate the Savior’s birth, the best gift we can give Him is to follow His example, learn of His ways, and minister to those family members, friends, and brothers and sisters around us. When we do this, we will feel and experience the meekness and lowliness in heart of the Savior and find rest unto our souls. 5
1. President Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?”, General Conference, October 2017.
2. Doctrine and Covenants 84:85.
3. “Ministering Principles: How to Share Testimony More Naturally,” Liahona, March 2019.
4. See President M. Russell Ballard, “The True, Pure, and Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ,” General Conference, April 2019.
5. See Matthew 11:29.