Friday, May 14, 2010

Visiting Teaching

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the women visit each other. This is called Visiting Teaching. I love Visiting Teaching. My Visiting Teaching partner and I have a set appointment every month (the second Wednesday) when we go. It is wonderful to sit and visit, to chat and to learn from each other.
We just had our Visiting Teaching Conference, which is a meeting where we are encouraged to get out and visit our sisters and friends. It was an uplifting meeting. Wendy Onricek spoke about an experience she had, when she felt the love of a visiting teacher. Bishop Hyer spoke about the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He compared the idea that the road to Jericho is downhill and sometimes we feel our lives are going in that direction, too. It seems whenever we are down, Satan beats on us, just as the thieves beat the man until he was “half dead”. Then “by chance” there came “a certain priest” Bishop Hyer said this could be clueless men. “but a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came…” This Samaritan was on a journey, did not come “by chance.” He was prepared with (healing) oil, bandages and wine (refreshment, food). It was his responsibility and he “took care” of the injured and the beaten down. The Samaritan then asked the host to “Take care of him” and promised to “come again”.
Visiting Teaching is just like this parable. Bishop Hyer asked us to be mindful of our stewardship. With our specific assignment to Visit Teach, comes accountability. We need to look beyond the greeting, “Hi. How are you?” “Fine… fine… fine” We need to pray for guidance to see the need and to be able to help. Then we need to return and report. I wondered how often I do something for someone but then forget to follow-up.
If you don’t like your partner or those you visit: “Do the best you can until the love grows.”
Are we doing the meaningful? Sometimes it is the small things that matter the most. They are the things that say, “I was just thinking about you.” Little acts of service mean you care. A text, an email, a phone call, a note, a hug, a cookie; none are big things, yet they reach out to those who need uplifting. Stay close to the spirit so you know when and what to do. Prayer and daily scripture study is important. It is our communication with Heavenly Father. “The Scriptures guide us, teach us the things we need to do—that day.”
I hope each of you understand the importance of doing your Visiting Teaching!

Here is a link to the Parable in the Scriptures 

Here is an Ensign article about the Parable

Here is a depiction of the Parable

Here is President Monson discussing the Parable and how it applies to us today.  

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