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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)

Helping New Members and Less-Active Members,” Teaching, No Greater Call (1999), 37

Henry B. Eyring, “True Friends,” Ensign, May 2002, 26–29; Liahona, July 2002, 29–32

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:

  • Read aloud the counsel from President Gordon B. Hinckley at the beginning of “Helping New Members and Less-Active Members” in Teaching, No Greater Call (page 37), and ask the young men to identify the three things every new member needs. Divide the quorum into three groups. Assign one group to make a list of specific things they could do to befriend a new member of the quorum; assign another group to make a list of responsibilities they could give to a new quorum member; assign the third group to make a list of ways they could nurture a new member with the good word of God. (If they need help, refer them to the suggestions on page 37 of Teaching, No Greater Call.) Ask the groups to share their lists with each other.
  • 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.”
  • Ask the young men to list some of the challenges a new member of the Church might face. With the bishop’s permission, you could invite a new member to talk to the class about his or her experiences. Invite each young man to read about one of the four ways President Henry B. Eyring says we can share a new member’s burden in his talk “True Friends.” Ask the young men to share what they read, and invite the new member to share experiences in which a Church member helped him or her in one of these ways. Invite the quorum president to lead a discussion on what the quorum can do to be true friends to new members of their ward.
  • 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).