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“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”

Photo by Nicholas Safran on Unsplash

Understand That We Are to Minister Unto One Another

And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

~Genesis 4:9 and Moses 5:34~

God bless all who endeavor to be their brother’s keeper, who give to ameliorate suffering, who strive with all that is good within them to make a better world. Have you noticed that such individuals have a brighter smile? Their footsteps are more certain. They have an aura about them of contentment and satisfaction—even dedication—for one cannot participate in helping others without experiencing a rich blessing himself.

~Thomas S. Monson – Our Brother’s Keeper – Ensign, June 1998 ~

Are we our brothers’ keepers? In other words, are we responsible to look after the well-being of our neighbors as we seek to earn our daily bread? The Savior’s Golden Rule says we are. Satan says we are not.

~ Elder Dallin H. Oaks – Brother’s Keeper – October 1986 General Conference ~

In Word: As true disciples of Jesus Christ we are to minister one to another. This is quite evident in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Whether it was healing those who were sick and afflicted, feeding those who were hungry, or teaching the importance of caring for those in need. The primary mission of the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to bring all men unto repentance, baptizing them, teaching them the commandments of Christ, and making disciples.

The other mission of the Christian believer is to minister to those who stand in need. Many times, the Savior spoke out against those who neglected the poor. The parable of the Good Samaritan. The Parable of the Separation of the Sheep and the Goats. Today, many possess the spirit of Cain and say with grave arrogance am I my brother’s keeper? Unfortunately, many who possess such an attitude and spirit of haughtiness are those who claim to be followers of Christ. How are we able to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength when we turn ourselves from the suffering of others? To love God also means we are to love others as we love ourselves. We are to carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). We are to mourn with those who mourn (Mosiah 18:9). To rejoice and weep with those who rejoice or weep (Romans 12:15).

In Deed: What manner do we minister unto others? It depends on how tuned in we are to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. There are many ways each one of us can minister. It begins with building a trusting relationship with someone. As we develop a heart of charity and ministry toward one another we come to realize that ministering is an intimate relationship that involves Christ-like love and character.

Sometimes we may be called to sit with someone and listen to them. Sometimes it requires us to show up and help them with things they may have a hard time, or incapable of, doing for themselves. It may mean we pray with them. There is no cookie cutter way to minister. Sometimes we may be called to minister to those who are strangers.

Other times it is a call to reach out and minister to those who we do know. And our ministering does not end within the Church. We have opportunities to serve and minister within our workplace, within our communities, and within our homes. And true ministering is done by meeting people where they are at and being mindful of what they are struggling with. Without judgment, bias, or opinions. Through our ministering efforts we are blessing them as well as being blessed.

Take a Moment and Ponder: Are you your brother’s keeper? How does this question resonate with you? In what ways have you neglected any opportunities to minister within your church, family, community, and/or workplace? How significant is it to understand that the Savior ministered to those who were marginalized? Are you seeking ways to be of service and minister to those in need? The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that we all are to reach out and minister in ways that the Savior has ministered. How does ministering to others bring blessings into your life?

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