The Savior focuses on the individual and family, said Elder Hugo E. Martinez of Seventy during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference. "His love and tender attention to the individual have taught me that He recognizes the great worth of each of Heavenly Father's children and that is essential for us to ensure that each individual is ministered to and strengthened by the gospel of Jesus Christ."
The love of Jesus Christ must be our guide if we are to become aware of the needs of those we can help in some way, said Elder Martinez. "The teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ show us the way. And that is how our personal ministry begins: discovering needs, then tending to them."
Explaining how his own family was touched by the personal ministries of his neighbors, Elder Martinez said, "On September 21, 1998, Hurricane Georges hit Puerto Rico, causing extensive damage. Sister Martinez, our five children, and I managed to survive that great storm and its hurricane-force winds by staying in our home." The Martinez family went two weeks without running water and without power.
"When our supply of water ran out, obtaining more was difficult," he said. "I will never forget the brethren who ministered to us by providing that precious liquid, nor will I forget the loving, inspired way the sisters also served us."
Our prayers were answered by the personal ministries of others, said Brother Martinez. "To every son or daughter of God, knowing that people are interested in and watching out for his or her welfare is essential."
Service is not limited to the living on this earth, said Elder Martinez. We can also do work for the dead — for those who live in the spirit world and who, during their mortal life, did not have the opportunity to receive the saving ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"I testify to you that Heavenly Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ, know us individually and personally," he said. "For that reason, They provide what we need so we will have the opportunity to reach our divine potential."
We have the special opportunity to be instruments in the hands of God, said Elder Martinez. "We can be so in our marriages, in our families, with our friends and with our fellowman. That is our personal ministry as true disciples of Jesus Christ."