Before you read this, check your guilt, excuses and complex at the door. This post is in no way a judgment or call to repentance. Take a deep breath and wait for a second.
Now, are you ready?
What kind of response did those two words create? Peace, frustration, guilt, satisfaction? Did you roll your eyes and think to yourself, "Here we go again. Another lecture about visiting teaching."? Have you already tuned out?
Remember, check your guilt, excuses and complex at the door and just read with an open mind and heart.
Now, are you really ready?
Visiting Teaching. Why do are we not all doing our visiting teaching? I know for me, sometimes it's hard to get together with my companion, or I am really busy, or sometimes (terrible admission here) I simply forget. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with life that I just don't do it.
BUT- I have to check and re-check not only my priorities, but my principles. Has God asked me to visit a handful of sisters? Yes. God has also asked me to be a good wife, mother, homemaker, family historian, temple attender, scripture study-er, healthy live-r and so on. He has asked me to do a lot of things.
So, how do I balance everything? How do I prioritize when everything seems so important and time-sensitive.
I could make a list.
I could alphabetize the list.
I could prioritize the list.
Then I would probably misplace my list.
God doesn't care so much about numbers. He cares about His daughters. We are not assigned a monthly quota. We have been given stewardship over the welfare of one of our sisters. When I visit teach (and I am sooo not a perfect visiting teacher) I may not hit %100 every month. But, there are two things that I think Heavenly Father does want me to do:
1. Love them.
2. Give them an opportunity to feel the Spirit.
Do the ladies I visit teach know that I love them? I hope they do. Through getting to know them, visiting with them and praying for them, I have come to love each of them. Because I love them, they come to my mind not just once a month as an appointment, but throughout the months as sisters I care about.
Sometimes the sisters on our list aren't active in the church. Our visits might be one of the few times they they feel the Spirit on their homes. Don't be afraid to share the Visiting Teaching Message with your less-active sisters.
I have become friends with the sisters I visit teach. But, they all have lots of friends. Heavenly Father didn't create visiting teaching so we can all be better buddies. He wants each sister to feel love and feel the Spirit on a regular basis. It is love that softens people. It is the Spirit that teaches and converts.
Visiting Teaching is also a vehicle that God uses to mold our characters to be more like our Savior. We learn to love (and some are harder to love than others), serve, sacrifice, pray and teach sisters in the gospel. We have an opportunity to work hand in hand with Him through personal revelation in doing good. As we strive to become great visiting teachers, we will find that it becomes less of a burden because we find that we are loving our sisters, and that we, ourselves are changing, too.
This isn't coming from me because I am claiming to be an amazing visiting teacher. Like you, I am always trying to do better, to be better. Below are links to a number of great articles from our leaders about this very sacred calling of Visiting Teacher. As I read them I feel humbled and repentant.
You might already be an amazing visiting teacher. That is wonderful! But, for others like me, there is room for improvement.
I hope as you read them you will feel the Spirit testify to you of the divinity of the calling of Visiting Teacher. We may not see miracles each visit - but still, let us go forward with glad hearts and willing hands. We are His hands here on earth, and there is much work to be done.