Sister Parkin Calls for Personal Ministry


    By Stacy Stirland

    Students should act as personal ministers to others, said Sister Bonnie D. Parkin at Tuesday”s devotional.

    “Please, never suppress a generous thought,” said Sister Parkin, general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Wearing red to remind students of the upcoming holiday, Sister Parkin reminded students to give their hearts.

    “Valentine”s Day is tomorrow. If you haven”t already promised your heart, think about doing it,” said Sister Parkin. “Your mother does not count.”

    Sister Parkin urged students to keep a quiet sense of a mission to serve others and to have a greater desire to minister to others. She explained that personally ministering to others is extending the love of Christ, one person at a time.

    “Most of our ministering is spontaneous,” said Sister Parkin. “Much of the Savior”s ministry seemed incidental. Just as a doctor came to heal the sick, Jesus came to heal the sinner.”

    She also emphasized students should be a recipient of others” ministry as well as a minister themselves. Parkin told students to welcome ministry and see it as an opportunity to feel the love of the Lord.

    “In short, we can initiate and partake in the miracles of others, miracles only we can do,” said Sister Parkin. “Whenever and wherever we are ministering, we are sharing God”s love. Both the giver and receiver are blessed.”

    Sister Parkin told a story of her daughter-in-law, Susan, who was a seamstress and in President Spencer W. Kimball”s ward. At church, she saw President Kimball”s suit and immediately thought of a piece of fabric that would match perfectly with his suit. She made him a tie, and as she was at his front doorstep she began to doubt whether he would want it. Before she could turn away, Sister Kimball opened the door and told her to never suppress a generous thought.

    Sister Parkin told students they must make a conscious decision to further consecrate themselves to the Lord and to do as he did. She said this decision would tell students of their identity in the premortal existence.

    “We are each called to reach out to others,” said Sister Parkin. “Most of the time these are simple acts. These are the events that really matter.”

    She encouraged sisters to make the most of their visiting teaching assignments and encouraged them to learn of the hearts of the sisters they visit.

    “What I do know is that love and relationships simply and profoundly are what personal ministry is all about,” Sister Parkin said.

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