Nels Hansen

BYU-Idaho’s devotional speaker on July 17 was Nels Hansen, the Department Chair for the Applied Plant Science Department. The title of his talk was “The connection between ministering and exaltation.”

Hansen told BYU-Idaho Radio he was prompted to speak on this subject after listening to the April 2018 General Conference where the announcement about ministering was made.

“I wanted to understand what the transition from Home and Visiting Teaching to Ministering meant,” Hansen said. “I also wanted to know if there was something more that Heavenly Father wanted me to understand, that I currently did not understand well enough.”

He said he learned a few things about ministering while preparing for this devotional. One thing he learned is that ministering not only has an effect on the individual you are serving but on you personally as well.

Hansen extended an invitation to his students to participate in daily and deliberate ministering and he shared an experience from one of his students.

He said this student had asked in her prayers for help from the Lord to know who she should minster to that day. She received an impression she should send a postcard to her great aunt in Washington.

“Four days later she got a phone call from her great aunt and she said that she had just had surgery on both of her feet and she was feeling really bad until her husband came in with the mail and there was a postcard,” Hansen said.

Hansen told BYU-Idaho Radio that as he prepared for this talk and worked with his students, one of the things he wanted to teach was the importance of daily ministering.

“When we engage in daily ministering it’s small, it is simple things,” Hansen said. “The most amazing thing is that when I would kneel down and pray and ask Heavenly Father for guidance on who I should minister to that day, the answers would come pretty quick. Almost always it was something small.”

Hansen had students also participate in video messages which he shared in his devotional. He said while the students were participating in these videos they began to realize they needed to unplug and talk to others around them.

“I think so often we hear that,” Hansen said. “It’s one thing to be told that and it’s another thing to feel that because you’re trying to do what the Spirit is telling you to do.”

He said as we start to engage in ministering it will require us to get outside of ourselves and disconnect from things that may be distracting.

Hansen said one of the messages he hopes those who listen to his devotional understand is that we have every day to try to be more like God.

“If our goal is to live with our Heavenly Father again, to have eternal life and exaltation then how are we practicing,” Hansen said. “That to me is what daily ministering would do. As we minster the way we see other people changes and we may have to give up something in order help someone.”