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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

What scriptures and other resources will inspire the young women to strengthen new members of the Church?

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

John 21:15–17 (Feed my sheep)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “You Are My Hands,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 68–75

Henry B. Eyring, “True Friends,” Ensign, May 2002, 26–29

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

Video: “Missionary Work and Retention: Georgia Elias”

Video: “Help New Members Take a Name to the Temple”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • Read or share the story at the beginning of President Dieter F. Uctdorf’s talk “You Are My Hands.” Ask the young women to share their thoughts on how they can be the Savior’s hands for others. Share with the young women the paragraph at the beginning of this outline, and ask the young women what they can do to be the Savior’s hands for a new member of the Church.
  • Invite the young women 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 young women learn how to strengthen new members of the Church. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best in your class:

  • Show a picture of the Savior holding a lamb (see Gospel Art Book, 64). Write on the board the words “Feed my sheep.” Ask the young women what they know about this statement. Invite them to listen for additional insights as you read to the class John 21:15–17. Who are the “sheep” and “lambs” in this passage? How are new members of the Church like lambs? What does it mean to feed the Savior’s lambs? Invite the young women to share experiences they have had strengthening new members. What specific things can they do to help new members in the future?
  • Invite the young women 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 women to think about the new members in their ward. What questions might they have? How could the young women 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.”
  • Write on the board scripture references (such as those listed in this outline) about our responsibility to strengthen fellow Saints. Ask each young woman to read one of the scripture references, thinking about how it applies to new members of the Church. Ask her to write on the board a short summary of her passage and share an example of the principle it teaches. Ask the young women why it is important to strengthen new members of the Church.
  • 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 women to identify the three things every new member needs. Divide the young women into three groups, and assign one group to make a list of specific things they could do to befriend a new member of the class; assign another group to make a list of responsibilities they could give to a new class 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.   
  • Help the young women think of questions they would like to ask someone who recently joined the Church. With the bishop’s permission, invite one or two recent converts to class. Ask them to share their conversion stories and their experiences as new members of the Church. Invite the young women to ask their questions and discuss how they can help new members make the transition into the Church.
  • Invite the young women 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 women 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.

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

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Invite a new member to come to a Mutual activity or other ward event.
  • Share their testimonies with a new member.