Relief Society Lesson Plan: The Saviour is our Perfect Example of Ministering

“Let our hearts and hands be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path.”

-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

 

To give your Relief Society opportunity to speak on relevant and familiar themes, you may consider looking to the examples of the Saviour ministering to women.

 

He healed the sick

It has been theorised that the woman with an “issue of blood” was suffering from prolonged menstruation. Given this, she would have been considered unclean for 12 years of her life. As stated, she had searched for help from physicians, but that seemed to make her problem much worse.

From Luke 8:

“47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

How can we minister in the Saviour’s way?

Research has shown that women’s health complaints are often seen as trivial, and as such, many women have had poor experiences with professionals. Sisters can support each other with belief, and validation. Where appropriate, sisters may also be able to attend appointments with the individual or simply check in with her.

We can be vocal supporters of women’s rights to proper care. We can also speak openly about trickier health issues to remove any damaging stigmas. This is particularly helpful with “hidden” illnesses, such as chronic pain, or depression.

Sickness can be lonely. A text or email may be appreciated by someone stuck at home, or in the hospital. When wanted, sisters can visit and help around the home, or bring a meal. Childminding may also be useful.

When the sister is away from church, she may appreciate being updated on what she’s missing. She also may appreciate a thoughtful spiritual message.

The individual may also appreciate some pampering. As always, ministering should be about what the sister needs.

 

He ministered to the grieving

Jesus wept with Mary and Martha. Jesus loved their brother, Lazarus. Many interpretations exist, but I like to think that Christ had empathy for the pain of these sisters.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

-Washington Irving

How can we minister in the Saviour’s way?

There are many ways a person may grieve. Someone they love could have passed away, or perhaps all their children have moved out of home. I had a period of grieving when I knew I shouldn’t have any more children.

Sisters can minister by choosing appropriate language around the one in grief. This may include discussion about eternal life, but for many, this could be the very last thing they want to hear. It’s important to gauge what would be helpful to the individual.

Sisters can promote privacy by dropping off meals, flowers, or other thoughtful gifts on the doorstep, rather than have the one in grief worry about entertaining.

Where the individual needs company, sisters can simply sit with the sister, or watch a movie with them.

Remember anniversaries of loss. This is a particularly painful time.

Ultimately, it’s about empathy. It’s hard to know what to say or do when someone is suffering, but the best thing is to be honest. Try: “I don’t know what to say, but I love you.”

 

These are just two examples of women Jesus Christ ministered to. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas.

Happy teaching!

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