Do you ever wish you were better at building lasting friendships?
One morning, I woke up to a big, long text from my ministering sister. You know the type: “Hey! I’m…[insert introduction, exclamation points!!!, and a bunch of personal questions]. What are you up to these days?” At this point, I had a choice. I could answer her or I could ignore her. Hesitantly, I answered the text.
I did need to make friends, even if I didn’t think ministering was the best way to do so. An Ensign article about ministering titled “Building Meaningful Relationships” draws on characteristics described in Doctrine and Covenants 121:41 and teaches that “meaningful relationships aren’t tactics. They are built on compassion, sincere efforts, and ‘love unfeigned.’” A great way to make friends can be through our devoted ministering efforts.
But successful ministering requires effort from both sides. “Remember that a relationship takes two,” the Ensign article notes. “You can offer love and friendship, but the relationship won’t grow unless the offer is accepted and returned.” Don’t hesitate to make your ministering relationships work, either by extending offers or accepting them.
I chose to accept. Now, a year later, my ministering sister and I are really good friends. We get together for dinner, we go for walks together, and we really understand each other. I’m glad that I decided to answer that text. I’m not saying that ministering efforts will lead to this kind of relationship every time, especially since all meaningful relationships require work on both sides. But if you try ministering, you might be surprised what it can do.
Read more specific advice on making friends through ministering in “Building Meaningful Relationships” in the Ensign.
—Abbie Call, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY ALLAN MAS
Check out more ministering tips at “Five Ways to Be a More Christlike Minister.”
Read Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Of Things That Matter Most” for more on building relationships.