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How can I learn to serve more effectively in the Church?

When the Lord calls us to serve, He also qualifies us to serve faithfully. As we learn what our responsibilities are and then diligently fulfill them, the Lord magnifies our efforts. We are also blessed in our callings when we follow the counsel of our Church leaders. In this way we participate with Him in building His kingdom and serving His children.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What do you feel inspired to share with the youth?

Jeremiah 1:5–9; Mosiah 2:11; Moses 6:31–34 (Prophets who received strength from the Lord to fulfill their callings)

John 15:16; Articles of Faith 1:5 (God calls us to serve through revelation)

Jacob 1:17–19; D&C 4107:99; 121:34–36 (We should act in all diligence to fulfill our callings)

D&C 25 (Emma Smith receives counsel about fulfilling her responsibilities)

Carol F. McConkie, Here to Serve a Righteous Cause,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 12–14

Thomas S. Monson, “The Savior’s Call to Serve,” Ensign or Liahona, Aug. 2012, 4–5

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between what they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, family, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help:

  • Ask the youth to share a recent experience they had teaching the gospel. What do they feel went well? What would they like to improve?
  • Ask the youth to talk about any callings they have had in the Church. What were their responsibilities? What did they find difficult or challenging about the calling? How did the Lord help them? Share an experience of your own, and bear your testimony.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the youth learn how to serve effectively in the Church. Following the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Help the youth learn how they can participate in the work of salvation by writing the following sentence on the board: “The work of salvation includes member missionary work, convert retention, activation of less-active members, temple and family history work, and teaching the gospel” (see Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 5.0). Invite the youth to review portions of Sister Carol F. McConkie’s talk “Here to Serve a Righteous Cause.” What do the youth learn about the work of salvation? Divide the youth into groups and let each group brainstorm ways they can increase their participation in one area of the work of salvation.
  • Invite each class member to read one of the scriptures suggested in this outline, looking for principles the Lord teaches about fulfilling callings. Ask the youth to share what they find. What do these scriptures inspire them to do?
  • Ask the youth to share stories from the scriptures in which someone was given a difficult assignment and received help from the Lord (for some ideas, see the scriptures suggested in this outline). If possible, help them find pictures of these stories in the Gospel Art Book. What inspires them about these stories? What do they learn from these stories about fulfilling callings?
  • Invite the youth to read President Thomas S. Monson’s message “The Savior’s Call to Serve,” looking for a quotation they could share about how to serve faithfully in Church callings. Ask class members to share their quotations and why they found the counsel from President Monson meaningful. How will they apply what they learned in their callings now and in the future?
  • Write on the board the headings Counsel and Promises. Invite the youth to search Doctrine and Covenants 25 and identify the counsel and promises the Lord gave Emma Smith in connection with her calling. Ask them to write on the board what they find. How might this counsel and these promises apply to the callings the youth receive? Ask the youth who have held callings to share anything they remember about counsel or promises they were given when they were set apart. You could also share what you remember. How have these promises been fulfilled?
  • As a class, read Doctrine and Covenants 107:99. Invite the youth to imagine that they have been given a specific calling in the ward or stake, and ask them to share what calling they are thinking of (see the “Chart of Callings” on pages 159–64 in Handbook 2: Administering the Church). What would they do to find out what their responsibilities are in their calling? (For example, they could consult the scriptures, Handbook 2, the Leadership Training Library, or someone who is currently serving in that calling). Ask the youth to spend time during class or during the coming week to learn about the calling and share what they learn in next week’s class.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand how to serve effectively in the Church? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Ask the youth what they feel inspired to do based on what they learned today. Encourage them to act on these feelings. Seek the Spirit as you prayerfully consider ways you can follow up.