Why It’s Important to Know There Are Different Ways to Help

There are lots of different ways to help people.

Mostly because there are lots of different types of people that each have their own set of needs…

AND their own set of abilities to use to help others.

Talking about different ways to help (or minister) to people will expand your mind with new possibilities of how to be helpful.

When you recognize how many ways there are to help you may not be so hard on yourself when you can’t help someone in a way that someone else does.

Instead you will be free to focus more on what you CAN do.

That freedom will help you think of even more possibilities for helping, which will allow you to actually help people more.

It’s a win-win for everyone!

Discussion Idea

Ponder these ideas on your own or discuss with your family or class.

  • Read and discuss Jacob 4:1-4

“Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) … but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers-

Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy…

For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming …”

  • Possible Discussion Questions
    • How does Jacob minister to his people?
    • Why did he do what he did?
    • How has his efforts affected you? (How has the Book of Mormon affected you?)
    • What might that say about how you can minister? (our efforts help others, there are different ways to minister than we might think)
  • Next you could do either of the following in any order:

You may want to discuss this first because it may be more meaningful and you want to make sure you have time for it. 

Discuss what things you can do to help other people.

  • Perhaps list abilities you have (or have those in your group list their abilities).
  • Then list or discuss ways you can use those specific abilities to help or uplift other people.

I sing. → So I can offer to sing in church, I can sing a song with an elderly sister I visit, or I can offer to teach a song to the youth.

I make cards.  → So I can write notes to missionaries or elderly from the ward, I can send birthday cards to relatives, or I can invite others over to my home to make cards with me.

I build things with wood.  → So I can offer to help a cub scout make a pinewood derby car, I can check on an elderly couple in the neighborhood and see if they have anything that needs to be fixed, or I can invite someone over to help make a gift for someone.

If the group is having a difficult time with either of these steps you might have someone list abilities and how to use them for someone else in the group besides themselves. (Make sure the group knows each other a little bit in order to be able to do this. And take care that only positive things are said about other people.)

Talking about examples first might help people come up with ideas more easily when talking about ways they can personally help.

Consider other people in the scriptures and how they chose to minister.

  • Ammon chose to serve the king
  • Esther chose to speak up to the king for her people…her uncle chose to bring information to her
  • Eve chose to do what she thought was right by eating the fruit…a difficult choice that opened possibilities for future generations
  • Enos chose to pray for people
  • King Mosiah chose to serve along side others
  • Captain Moroni chose to minister by using his talents to keep people safe and defend his country
  • Helaman of the stripping warriors chose to help by encouraging his friends to keep their covenants and find a different solution to their problem and then he cared for their sons
  • Mormon chose to compile a book