Latter-day Saint Voices

Visiting Teaching, Family History, and Mothers

By Heike Baake

Frankfurt, Germany

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letter and photo

Illustration by Joseph Alleman

I joined the Church when I was 20. Shortly thereafter I married a man from the ward, and we moved because of work. When I was 22, our first son was born. At that time, my visiting teachers started visiting me regularly, even though we lived at the edge of the ward boundary.

Since I was a new mother at that time, my conscience told me that I needed to get in contact with my own mother. But I had broken off all contact with her eight years earlier when my parents divorced. Each time my visiting teachers came over, we spoke about it, and I felt that the Spirit was urging me to take this difficult step.

We discussed how I could begin rebuilding our relationship since my mother does not belong to the Church. So much had changed in my life in the eight years that had passed since our falling out. Because of the strong promptings of the Spirit, I decided to contact my mother’s mother first. My grandmother was blind, so her mail was sent to my aunt who cared for her.

I received a wonderful letter back, and we went to stay for a visit with my grandmother and my aunt. My grandmother was pleasantly surprised and asked only that I stop by to see her daughter—my mother—on our way home. She was very happy.

My grandmother was a Lutheran, and she loved the Savior. While we stayed with them, my husband would read to her each morning from the Book of Mormon. She really enjoyed it. After a few mornings, my husband and my grandmother felt so full of the Spirit that my grandmother went to her desk and pulled out a genealogy book that had belonged to my deceased grandfather and showed it to him. There were eight generations listed neatly, including even their occupations. My grandmother was very happy while we were staying with her, and I promised her that I would visit my mother on the way home, which I did.

Five weeks after our visit to my grandmother’s, she had a stroke and passed away. Two years later I performed the temple work for my ancestors from my grandmother’s information.

I now have a good relationship with my mother. We live in the same town, and she helps me with my children at times.

Without the regular visits from my visiting teachers, who encouraged and supported me through this time, I would never have dared take this step to repair my relationship with my mother. Not only I but also many generations were blessed.