Objective: To stress that every sister, married or unmarried, with or without children, is a homemaker.
A woman who was required to move frequently because of her husband’s employment was questioned by her neighbor as she planted tulip bulbs in her yard.
“Why do you bother planting these bulbs when you know you won’t be here when they bloom next spring?” the neighbor asked.
“I may not be here,” the woman replied, “but someone else will. I always try to leave my homes, temporary as they may be, a little more beautiful because I was there.”
Whether we live in a trailer, hogan, apartment, cottage, mansion, villa, flat, or chalet, each of us—married or single, with or without children—is a homemaker. Our challenge is to make our earthly homes like the heavenly home we so recently left and to which we hope to return.
President Spencer W. Kimball wrote: “Heaven is a place, but also a condition; it is home and family. It is understanding and kindness. … It is quiet, sane living; personal sacrifice, genuine hospitality, wholesome concern for others. It is living the commandments of God.” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1972, p. 265.)
President Ezra Taft Benson has said that “one great thing the Lord requires of each of us is to provide a home where a happy, positive influence for good exists.” (Ensign, May 1981, p. 34.)
A home is more than mortar, brick, wood, mud, or thatch. It is a place where something of heaven is built into its foundation. It is for this reason that the psalmist wrote, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” (Ps. 127:1.)
Inviting the Lord to help us build such homes is always a challenge. Certainly the counsel given concerning temple building in section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants could be expanded to apply also to our homes: “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning; a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (Ps. 127:119.)
Suggestions for Visiting Teachers
What is one specific thing you could do to make your earthly home more like our heavenly home?
Apply the counsel in Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 to your homemaking efforts. What would you need to do to better make your home “a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God”? [D&C 88:119]
(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 89–91, for related materials.)
Visiting Teaching Messages
Some sisters have been concerned that their Ensigns arrive too late for them to give the visiting teaching message to sisters whom they visit early in the month. This concern will be eliminated if visiting teachers know that the visiting teaching message printed in a particular issue of the Ensign need not be the message for that month; it could just as easily be given the following month.
This, in fact, is similar to what happens in non-English-speaking areas. Although those sisters receive the same messages as do their Ensign-reading sisters, they receive the messages in different months because International Magazines conference issues are in different months.
Also, as the January 1987 Ensign noted (p. 32), there will be no designated visiting teaching messages printed in the May and November general conference issues of the Ensign. Messages for those months are to be chosen by the visiting teachers (after prayerfully considering the needs of those they visit) from a general conference address by a member of the First Presidency of the Church. Thus, if visiting teachers need a month to get ahead, they may take their messages for two sequential months from the First Presidency conference addresses.
This procedure should give sisters around the world the flexibility they need as they share the gospel message with those whom they visit teach.