Latter-day Saints can become more united as they bear one another’s burdens and extend the hand of fellowship to one another.
The Lord placed the various offices in the Church for the purpose of spreading the gospel, perfecting the members, and edifying the Church.
The purposes mentioned above are achieved by individual officers performing their specific and varied duties.
Whatever else these duties may include, they have in common the extension of the hand of fellowship.
Chapter 43, “Ye Are … Fellow Citizens with the Saints”
1 Nephi 6:4. What was the fulness of Nephi’s intent?
Jacob 1:7, 8. What was Jacob’s desire?
Enos 9-20. What did Enos desire after he obtained a hope of salvation?
Mosiah 2:17. What is the true spirit of service?
2 Corinthians 11:22-33. Paul lists his trials for the saints.
Moroni 1:1-4. How did Moroni feel about the Lamanites?
Teachings, p. 316. Friendship is like welding iron to iron.
Teachings, p. 228. How you must feel about your fellows if you are to help them?
Gos. Doc, pp. 253-58. Rules involving fellowship in the Church.
Gos. Doc, pp. 179-80. How do we offer a hand of fellowship to the General Authorities?
Gos. Doc, pp. 196-98. Heber C. Kimball’s treatment of President Joseph F. Smith is an example of fellow-shiping.
Spencer W. Kimball in CR, Apr. 1976, p. 70. Are there some who especially need fellowshiping?
Vaughn J. Featherstone in CR, Apr. 1973, pp. 46-48. Where should brethren seek fellowship?
Some Suggestions for Presentation
Illustrations of Fellowshiping
On the chalkboard (or handout) the instructor could write three headings: (1) Church Office or Calling, (2) Specific Duty (3) How This Duty Fellowships. Then he could call for responses from the class to fill in these columns. For instance, the following may be elicited and may appear on the chalkboard with a little help from the instructor.
Church Office or Calling
How This Duty Fellowships
In preparing to present the above method, the instructor may wish to think through the fellowshiping opportunities of, at least, the offices Paul mentioned in Ephesians 4:11. If the instuctor chooses to use this method for this lesson, he will find chapter 43 of the course manual helpful, both as a review for himself and as a means of enhancing the manual in the minds of his students.
Are All the Offices Necessary?
Discussion questions may prove helpful in blessing students with a comprehensive view of the fellowshiping genius of the complete Church organization. In composing these, the teacher could ask himself such questions as the following: Why did Jesus call his apostles his friends? (See John 15:15 and D&C 84:63; 93:45.) How do those who have patriarchal blessings feel about the particular patriarch who gave them their blessing? How does a patriarchal blessing give fellowship (a sense of belonging) to its recipient? How do converts feel about missionaries? What do they expect from them besides the message? And so forth.
What is the purpose of having a church organization? (Many people believe and teach that there is no need for such a thing.) The students could be asked to consider carefully this question from the standpoint of fellowshiping. Then ask, How does the Church fulfill the answers given to the above questions?
It might be interesting to discuss how the right hand is used in the Church as a symbol of friendship and fellowship.
We raise our right hand to sustain.
We extend the right hand to welcome and greet.