Identifying Members Who Have Employment Needs
Bishoprics, high priests group leaders, elders quorum presidencies, and Relief Society presidencies have the responsibility of seeking out and caring for the poor and needy.
These leaders should be perceptive; it is not enough to assist only when asked. Many people who are struggling with employment issues are sensitive about their situation. While some may be uncomfortable discussing their employment challenges, it is the first step in allowing ward members to help.
Quorum and Relief Society leaders should:
- Seek and follow the promptings of the Spirit.
- Visit members at least once a year and become acquainted with their employment and financial needs.
- Consider asking the following (or similar) questions to better understand each member’s employment circumstances during visits or interviews:
- What do you do for a living?
- Are you satisfied with your current job?
- Is your income sufficient to meet your needs?
- Are you, in any way, worried about your current job?
- What would happen if your job ended tomorrow?
- Inspire home and visiting teachers to complete their assignments, to ask questions about employment and other needs, and to immediately report any employment or financial concerns.
- Hold regular presidency meetings to review members’ plans for long-term self-reliance.
- Create lists and prayerfully review ways to help members who are:
- Currently unemployed.
- Anticipating a layoff at work.
- Not making enough money.
- Working two or more jobs.
- Having to work on Sundays.
- Unhappy with current employment.
- In need of training or education.
- Struggling with a small business.
- Provide opportunities for members struggling with employment to stand up in priesthood or Relief Society meetings and speak about their employment needs.(see "This is Your Phone Call," Richard C. Edgley, Ensign , May 2009).
- Give an accounting of presidency visits, home and visiting teaching assignments, and overall member self-reliance in council meetings.
Once a needy member has been identified, priesthood and Relief Society leaders should contact him or her immediately to assess his or her needs and options—do not wait until Sunday.
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