What does it mean to be my brother's keeper?

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Both ancient and modern day prophets have collectively and consistently testified of our covenant responsibility to care for, encourage, protect, and even rescue our brothers and sisters. Elder David A. Bednar affirmed: "We...want an environment on this campus where appropriately and genuinely concerned 'neighbors,' in the true scriptural sense of the word neighbor, would remind, help, and encourage us to consistently think, speak, and act in a way that invites the Spirit of the Holy Ghost among us" ("In the Path of Their Duty," BYU-Idaho Devotional, Sept. 1, 1998). This is the essence of being our brother's keeper. This is the role of the loving friends, classmates, and, especially, roommates at BYU-Idaho.

Prepare yourself spiritually
Why are we asked to be our brother's keeper? How does being our brother's keeper apply to our roommate relationships? What experiences have I had in my life where someone has looked out or cared for me?
Prayerfully study the following scriptures and resources. What will encourage your roommates and fellow ward members to be their brother's keeper?

Begin the learning experience
Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this lesson:
  • Sing the hymn "Lord, I would Follow Thee" (Hymns, no 220). Discuss what it means to be my brother’s keeper. Refer to Elder Bednar’s quote at the beginning of the lesson for additional insight.
  • Read together Moses 7:18-19 and invite the members of the group to contemplate and discuss the characteristics of a home in the city of Enoch. What would an apartment in Zion look and feel like?
students talking and smiling

Learn together
Each of the activities below can help Home Evening group members learn how they can build Zion in their apartments. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for the group.
  • Watch "Wounded on the Battlefield." Discuss together or in small groups the following questions: What are your impressions of the video? How does this account relate to being your brother's keeper? How can the Code of Silence affect our relationships with our roommates? How can we best assist roommates or neighbors who may be spiritually wounded?
  • Watch the "Parable of the Good Samaritan." Invite group members to liken the story to themselves. Discuss together or in small groups the following questions: How would you feel if you were the wounded man on the side of the road and saw the others pass by you? What correlation exists between physical wounds and spiritual wounds? What is the relationship between "neighbor" and "brother"? What type of transformation—both in us and in our roommates—may occur as we strive to be our brother's keeper?
  • Read together two consecutive paragraphs from President Howard W. Hunter's talk "A More Excellent Way," starting with "The world in which we live would benefit greatly if men and women everywhere would exercise the pure love of Christ . . . " What role does love play in being your brother's keeper? How can you cultivate genuine love for your roommates?

Live what we are learning
A lesson is not complete until an invitation or challenge is extended that inspires and motivates participants to apply what they have learned. “It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals” (Thomas S. Monson, “A Royal Priesthood,” Ensign, Nov. 2007, 59-61).
  • Invite the members of the group to consider what they learned from this lesson. Ask them to write down and share (if appropriate) what they feel impressed to do.
  • Invite members of the group to ask the Lord in their prayers over the next week to bless them with an increased awareness of those in their apartment or apartment complex who may need their help. Challenge them to act on the promptings they receive. Make sure to follow up at next week's Home Evening.
girl smiling