The Visiting Teacher:

Remember Him within the Home

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    “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.” (D&C 88:119.)

    A young mother of two sons was busy with a part-time job at home and a demanding Church calling. “It seemed I had no time for my children,” she recalls. She was often so caught up in her work that her sons went to great lengths to get her attention—and she was often angry at them.

    So she decided to organize an “activity time” with her sons each morning. As she spent that time with them in prayer, singing, and fun activities, she gained a greater appreciation for each of them and began to really enjoy the time they spent together. “I was amazed at what a little love and attention brought about!” she said. (See Ensign, Feb. 1983, p. 62.)

    Home: A Haven of Love

    This mother discovered a “secret” to making her home a sanctuary from the world and its cares. The early Saints were told to make the temple they were building “a house of prayer … a house of learning … a house of God.” (See D&C 88:119.) In the same way, we should make our homes havens of love where we and other family members can grow and learn to love, serve, understand, and forgive each other. If family members falter in righteousness, love and support from others in the family can help them return to living the gospel. By striving to make our homes peaceful places where we can feel the influence of the Spirit, we can help ourselves and our families learn to be more Christlike.

    “Home,” President Ezra Taft Benson has said, “is love, understanding, trust, welcome, and a sense of belonging.” (Ensign, Nov. 1981, p. 107.)

    Of course, not all homes consist of parents and children. Some sisters live alone, with roommates, or with family members or relatives. Some married sisters do not have children, and some sisters have already reared their children. But regardless of who lives in our home, we need it to be a place of refuge where we can feel the Lord’s Spirit and practice living gospel principles.

    Inviting the Spirit to Dwell in Our Homes

    How can we make our homes “a house of God” where we can remember Christ and pattern our lives after his? There are several things we can do:

    —Personal and family prayer and scripture study invite a spirit of love into the home.

    —A picture of Christ reminds family members of his example.

    —Appropriate music can invite the Spirit to dwell in our homes and can calm and inspire us in times of trial or trouble.

    —A dedicatory prayer offered in the home can invite the Spirit to abide there and can inspire a feeling of reverence.

    We can also establish a positive environment in which family members feel loved and accepted, in which they learn the gospel not only through words but also through example. “A prerequisite condition to increasing faith is to have love and harmony in the home,” President Benson has said. (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988, p. 527.)

    Through striving to make our homes places where we can feel the Lord’s Spirit, we, too, can establish a “house of God.” Like Joshua of old, we can affirm, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:15.)

    Suggestions for Visiting Teachers

    1. Discuss some ways we can remember the Lord within our homes.

    2. You or the sister you visit may wish to share an experience about something you or she did to cultivate a positive atmosphere within the home.

    (See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 92–97, 186–87, 189–90, 231–32, 235–62, 265–321 for additional resources.)

    Illustrated by Beth Maryon Whittaker