LDS Church Implements "Newer, Holier" Approach To Ministering To Others

Monday, May 7, 2018 - by Phil Smartt

Opening a new chapter in Church history, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced “a new, holier approach” to caring for and ministering to others based on the two great commandments – to love God and our neighbor.   

Local Mormons from the greater Chattanooga area gathered on Saturday and Sunday to learn more about what effective ministering looks like as we seek to “watch over” the temporal and spiritual needs of God’s children throughout the world, including in our local congregations and communities.   

In a devotional at BYU, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “As disciples of Christ, we strongly reject the notion that our lives are all about ourselves.  Rather, we follow the Savior.”  The Savior “went about doing good,” no matter how inconvenient, President John Griffey of the Chattanooga Stake reminded local congregants.  “As His disciples, we should also go about doing good, no matter how busy we are.”   

When speaking about “the demands of discipline and discipleship, of the responsibilities we have to face when we choose to follow Jesus Christ,” 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Satan counters such disciplines with temptations of an easier way, with an offer of ‘convenient Christianity.’  It is a temptation Jesus resisted, and so must we” (The Inconvenient Messiah, Holland, 1982).   

One local family spoke about how holy ministering and the good deeds of others changed their lives.  President Griffey used their example to teach about the profound effect we can have on others when we keep the first two great commandments.  Commandments are not just a “set of rules but keep us closer to God and bring us happiness,” as Elder Andersen stated.  Happiness is what God wants for us and what we should want for each other.  

This is why ministering is about becoming “a part of someone’s life and caring about him or her,” as Sister Bingham, President of the General Relief Society said during General conference.  Elder Douglas Carter of the Seventy, who was assigned to preside over the Chattanooga Stake Conference, shared numerous examples as he reflected on his own life, recalling how simple acts of ministering brought about great blessings in the lives of many he knew in Argentina, Florida and throughout the Southeast.  He reminded the congregation that Heavenly Father has a plan for all His children.  His plan is that we return to Him.  Jesus Christ is the only way we can return to the Father.   

David R. Willey, first counselor in the Atlanta Temple Presidency, spoke about how the principle purpose of temples is to provide sacred, not secret, ordinances for the children of God to return to live with God.  An ordinance is an act like baptism, confirmation, marriage that is performed by the authority of the priesthood, which is God’s power to seal and bind on earth and in heaven.  He explained how temple blessings are made possible through Jesus Christ.  As President Nelson previously taught, “the Savior’s atoning sacrifice is the central act of all human history” – “which made resurrection a reality for all and made eternal life possible for those who repent of their sins and receive and keep essential ordinances and covenants.” 

And so “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ” (2 Nephi 25:26).  We minister as the Savior ministers and do so “out of love, in recognition that we are all, and those around us, children of our Heavenly Father. 

We will serve not because our service is being counted and measured but because we love our Father in Heaven and are motivated by a higher and nobler pursuit – helping our friends find and stay on the path home to Him.  This is where joy and lasting fulfillment come from for both the giver and receiver,” as Elder Patrick Kearon of the Presidency of the Seventy later taught in a worldwide devotion Sunday evening. 

The Living Christ invites each of us to engage in the work of ministering – one by one – because “the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10).  Using the Savior’s words, we are to “Love one another, as I have loved you.”  In other words, as local Mormons were taught this weekend, we minister “out of heartfelt care for one another, motivated only by the pure love of Christ to do so.” 

U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, Gerald McCormick of the State House of Representatives and Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond attended Sunday services.    




Metro Tab Church Hosts Dessert With Bessie

The Neshawn Calloway invites the public to have Dessert with Bessie as they celebrate the Empress of the Blues on  Saturday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m.  The evening will include coffee, dessert, and dancing. You will enjoy some of Bessie Smith’s classics and the second half of the show will feature some of your favorite smooth jazz and old school R&B hits.   The ... (click for more)

Vickie Yohe Sings At Metro Church Sunday

The public is invited to a praise and worship experience featuring gospel legend Vickie Yohe at Metro Tab Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Metro Tab Church is a multicultural and non-denominational ministry. It is at 2101 West Shepherd Road.  For more information visit www.metrotab.net or call 894-3377. (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. McElrath was a former Hamilton County corrections officer from 1996-1999. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Use Purse Building For Chattanooga Museum Of History And Industry

I was caught off-guard and pleasantly stoked by Eric Atkins' editorial on Chattanoogan.com last week suggesting that one of the soon-to-be surplused city buildings could be turned into a history museum.   I didn't think anyone other than myself that I didn't know cared, or at least would turn their thoughts into the topic of an editorial.  I believe that most of the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: One Person Every Hour

After the first weekend in August, the United States was shaken to its core as every major media outlet reported that 67 people had been shot in Chicago, 12 of them dead in the senseless carnage. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pleaded for calm and announced an additional 600 police officers would join other law enforcement in the five most troubled districts. This past weekend, which ... (click for more)