Visiting Teaching: A Call from the Lord
“The only system which could provide succor and comfort across a church so large in a world so varied would be through individual servants near the people in need. The Lord had seen that coming from the beginning of Relief Society.
He set a pattern in place. Two Relief Society sisters accept their assignment to visit another as a call from the Lord” (Henry B. Eyring, “The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society,” Liahona, Nov. 2009, 123; see also Daughters in My Kingdom, page 110).
We will know we are successful in our ministry as visiting teachers when the sisters we visit can say:
- My visiting teacher helps me grow spiritually.
- I know that my visiting teacher cares deeply about me and my family.
- If I have problems, I know my visiting teacher will take action without waiting to be invited.
How We Get the Result the Lord Envisioned for Visiting Teaching
Understanding That the Purpose of Visiting Teaching Is to Minister
“[Jesus Christ] showed us how to minister—how to watch over and strengthen one another. His was a ministry to individuals, one by one” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 105).
“Visiting teaching gives women the opportunity to watch over, strengthen, and teach one another. Through visiting teaching, the Relief Society president helps the bishop identify and resolve short-term and long-term needs of the sisters and their families” (Handbook 2, 9.5).
Organizing Visiting Teaching
“The members of Relief Society have always been trusted by local priesthood shepherds. Every bishop and every branch president has a Relief Society president to depend upon. She has visiting teachers, who know the trials and the needs of every sister. She can, through them, know the hearts of individuals and families. She can meet needs and help the bishop in his call to nurture individuals and families” (Henry B. Eyring, “The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society," Liahona, Nov. 2009, 123; see also Daughters in My Kingdom, page 110).
“The structure of visiting teaching in the ward is determined by the bishop and Relief Society presidency after prayerful consideration of local needs and circumstances” (Handbook 2, 9.5.2).
Adapting Visiting Teaching
“In a ward with limited resources, leaders may adapt visiting teaching to ensure that sisters with the greatest needs always receive a monthly visit” (Handbook 2, 9.5.3).
“Give special priority to … sisters coming into Relief Society from Young Women, single sisters, new ward members, recent converts, newly married sisters, less-active members, and others with special needs” (Handbook 2, 9.5.2).
“Where possible, the presidency assigns sisters into companionships of two” (Handbook 2, 9.5.2; italics and bold added).
Companionships may divide up the work; both sisters do not have to fulfill exactly the same responsibilities.
Assigning a Visiting Teacher
“Visiting teaching in the ward is determined by the bishop and Relief Society presidency after prayerful consideration” (Handbook 2, 9.5.2).
“Sisters accept their assignment to visit another as a call from the Lord” (Henry B. Eyring, “The Enduring Legacy of Relief Society," Liahona, Nov. 2009, 123; see also Daughters in My Kingdom, page 110).
Reporting—Count the Caring
“The Relief Society presidency or those who are called to assist them receive monthly reports from visiting teachers. The visiting teachers report any special needs of the sisters they visit and any service rendered. In addition, presidency members meet with visiting teachers regularly to discuss sisters' spiritual and temporal welfare and to make plans to help those in need” (Handbook 2, 9.5.4).
Visiting Teaching and the Work of Salvation
“This organization is divinely made, divinely authorized, divinely instituted, divinely ordained of God to minister for the salvation of the souls of women and of men” (Daughters in My Kingdom, page 7).