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What can I do to help new members of the Church?

For many people, becoming a member of the Church can be challenging. It may involve leaving behind old friendships and adjusting to a new way of life. Each new member of the Church needs friendship, a responsibility, and nurturing with “the good word of God” (Moroni 6:4). We can help new members by befriending them, serving alongside them, and sharing our testimonies with them.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the following scriptures and resources. What do you feel inspired to share with the young men?

Luke 22:32; Romans 15:1–2; Moroni 6:4–5; D&C 81:5; 108:7 (Strengthen fellow Saints)

Neill F. Marriott, “What Shall We Do?Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 10–12

Neil L. Andersen, “Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 49–52

Friends,” For the Strength of Youth (2011), 16–17

Videos: “Missionary Work and Retention: Georgia Elias”“Help New Members Take a Name to the Temple”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Put the young men in pairs, and give them a couple of minutes to share what they remember from last week’s lesson. Ask one pair to share what they remember with the quorum.
  • Invite the young men to describe some feelings that accompany new experiences, such as the first day of a class, joining a club or a team, or starting a new job. Ask them to discuss how these feelings might be similar to those experienced by new members of the Church. Invite them to share related experiences they have had, either as new members themselves or with other new members.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the quorum members learn how they can help strengthen new members. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite the young men to visualize or think about a Church member who reaches out to new converts, who may come from different circumstances than the member. The young men could make a list on the board of things that this Church member might do or not do to make new converts feel welcome. Elder Neil L. Andersen in “Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me” told several stories about people who reached out to new members, and Sister Neill F. Marriott in “What Shall We Do?” told about the welcome she received as a new convert from her husband’s step-grandmother. What can the young men learn from these stories that they can add to their list?
  • Write on the board scripture references (such as those listed in this outline) about our responsibility to strengthen fellow Saints. Ask each young man to read one of the scripture references, thinking about how it applies to new members of the Church. Ask him to write on the board a short summary of his passage and share an example of the principle it teaches. Ask the young men why it is important to strengthen new members of the Church.
  • Invite the young men to watch the video “Missionary Work and Retention: Georgia Elias” and look for things Georgia’s new ward did to help her stay strong in the gospel after her baptism. What else do they learn from Georgia’s experience that can help them strengthen new members? Invite the young men to think about the new members in their ward. What questions might they have? How could the quorum members help them? As part of this discussion, you may want to show and discuss the video “Help New Members Take a Name to the Temple.”
  • Invite the young men to read “Friends” in For the Strength of Youth and look for answers to the question “What does it mean to be a true friend?” Ask them to share what they find and share an experience in which someone was a true friend to them. Why is it especially important for us to be good friends to new members of the Church? Invite the young men to make a list of new members they know and discuss how they can apply the counsel in For the Strength of Youth to befriend them.
  • Invite the quorum to complete one of the following study activities from Preach My Gospel, page 222: the second “Personal Study” activity or the third “Companionship Study” activity.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to help strengthen new members? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share his testimony regarding the importance of befriending new members.
  • Invite the young men to set a personal goal in their Duty to God books to befriend new members (see “Invite All to Come unto Christ,” pages 28–29, 52–53, or 76–77).