Wearing bright red for a Valentine's Day message, Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, counseled students at Tuesday's devotional to "never suppress a generous thought."
Each of us, she said, has been given a personal ministry that is "definitely and divinely given and lasts a lifetime." To know what our personal ministry is, we must seek the Holy Ghost, which is "key to pursuing our personal ministry."
A schedule for the rebroadcast of Sister Parkin's address will be found on the web site for BYU Broadcasting.
Our personal ministry, Sister Parkin told students, extends beyond our current church calling. "Every interaction we have is an opportunity to minister, to nurture." To minister, she said, is to "personally attend to the needs of others … ministering involves extending charity, that pure love of Christ, to others, one person at a time."
Sister Parkin then counseled students that their personal ministry and service to others does not need to be planned nor spectacular; by following the example of the Savior's ministry, we can each find ways to serve every day. "When we serve another," she promised, "we are individually blessed."
We can serve, she suggested, through our callings as well as by asking to be an answer to someone's prayer; "Asking to be the answer to someone's prayer has a powerful impact . . . As we go about listening, watching, and feeling for answers to each other's prayers, I testify that our earthly ministry unfolds by revelation and divine power."
An important aspect of our personal ministry, Sister Parkin went on to say, is not only serving others, but also allowing others to serve us. "Personal ministry must begin in or homes and in our hearts. Don't deny others the blessing of service. Allowing them to minister to us is another form of ministry."
Sister Parkin challenged students to find those things that only they could do for another person and then do them; "As you do (these things), I promise He will expand your heart to become more like his."
Sharing her testimony of personal ministry, Sister Parkin told students, "Our personal ministry is a sacred and precious thing. It allows us to become an extension of the Lord's love. It embraces all those who come across our path."
Writer: Alexis Plowman