How-to Series: Mentoring and Serving Others
Contributed By Kate Blood Ferguson, Church News contributor
- Mentoring is influencing or supporting others to make positive changes, and it is a great way to serve.
- We can mentor those around us through our time, talents, or resources.
Mentoring is influencing or supporting others to make positive changes, and it is a great way to serve. We can mentor those around us through our time, talents, or resources. This week the “How To” channel posted videos about how mentoring made a difference and changed the hearts of members in Detroit, Michigan.
The video “How To—Accept and Participate in Positive Change” describes members in the Detroit area who overcame prejudices as they sought unity and reached across the 8-mile divide.
“There’s been kind of an admission,” says one man in the video, “that the patterns of the past have failed us, and we need to find a new way to work together—to be more engaged together.”
As members opened up and aimed to serve one another through mentoring, lives have been blessed and changed. Here are a few ways people in Detroit mentored others.
Mentoring through time
A mentoring relationship requires trust, and spending time together is one way to develop that trust. Raechel and Lamar Parker, from the video “How To—Experience More Love and Joy through Friendship and Gospel Principles,” were taught growing up to deal with their own problems and just worry about themselves. But once Lamar and Sam Utley developed a friendship, the two families began spending more time together, and now the Parkers see the Utleys as parents and mentors.
“They helped us prioritize and helped us understand what was more important in life,” says Lamar. And for Raechel, it really means a lot to her that the Utleys, who don’t live nearby, go out of their way to come to the city and spend time with them and their kids.
Effective mentoring is born from love and service. If you are looking for a mentor, look for others who are good examples of what you want to become. Ask for some of their time, and work to develop a relationship where you can ask questions and seek their help.
Mentoring through talents
In the parable of the talents (see Matthew 25), the Savior taught that we must use and develop our talents. One way to do that is to use our talents to serve others.
Lamanais Louis takes donated computers and uses his skills to refurbish them for high school and college students in Detroit. In “How To—Use Your Skills to Bless the Lives of Others,” Tiara talks about being blessed by Louis’s service when she first started college.
Tiara is the first member of her family to graduate from college, and getting an education was important to her. So, while Brother Louis’s refurbished computer may seem like a small thing, for her, it made all the difference.
Delores Hubbard is a woman from “How To—Mentoring Those Who Struggle with Addiction” who had been a drug user, an alcoholic, and involved in prostitution.
“I didn’t know how to do it anymore on my own. I was left alone, and I gave up. Living my life through Christ is when all the change came about in my life,” says Hubbard.
Hubbard was willing to put in the time and effort required to turn her life around, and the Coopers were able to mentor her as she moved forward. Now Hubbard wants to use her experience to mentor others.
She wants to help people struggling with drug addiction and single mothers trying to get back into the workforce. Brother Cooper uses his skills to help Hubbard with grant writing while she works to formalize her efforts.
“The Lord served the whole time He was here, and that’s how you show love, is serving others,” says Hubbard. “That’s what serving others means to me.”
Mentoring through resources
When appropriate, you can use financial means, transportation, connections, and job opportunities to mentor others. When we use our resources to bless those around us, we are blessed in return.
Princess Bombyck, a student from Liberia who wants to be a doctor, found living arrangements and support from Brother and Sister Watson.
In the video “How To—Share Your Knowledge and Resources to Lift Another” we meet Princess Bombyck, a student from Liberia who wants to be a doctor. When Bombyck’s living situation fell through, the Watsons were able to take her in and support her. Bombyck says it was Heavenly Father who was looking out for her and put her in contact with the Watsons in her time of need.
Living with the Watsons has helped Bombyck pursue her dream of becoming a doctor and returning to Liberia to serve her people.
Watch the “How To” channel’s videos about mentoring in Detroit and decide how you can be a mentor to those in your community.