“[The Lord] said unto [Peter] the third time, Lovest thou me? And [Peter] said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep” (John 21:17).
Visiting Teachers Led Me to Jesus Christ10481_000_010
In the late 1970s, a friend asked me to go to Relief Society with her. “What’s that?” I asked. My friend simply said, “Come and see.” Wow! I was captivated from the first moment.
Later that summer Leann came to my house and said that she was my visiting teacher. This seemed strange and wonderful at the same time, especially since I was not a member of the Church. Here she was taking time from her busy schedule to share a spiritual thought with me and to see if there was anything she could help me with. I knew from her spirit that she was sincere. I’ve never forgotten Leann and the messages she shared with me.
A couple of years passed, and Frances moved into our ward. Truthfully, it wasn’t exactly “our” ward since I wasn’t a member yet, but I thought of it that way. By this time I had two little girls, and I could see how the Church auxiliaries were blessing their lives. Come rain or come shine, Frances, my new visiting teacher, visited me with a lesson, a laugh, a story, or a helping hand. I recall when Frances came one hectic afternoon. Seeing that I couldn’t sit and talk, Frances stirred my culinary concoctions on the stove while I tended to my daughters’ needs.
Years passed and I moved. As much as I hated to leave my Church friends, I soon found another group of sisters with strong testimonies and big hearts in the Relief Society in “my” new ward. A Relief Society teacher gave us a decorated to-do list and encouraged us to write “Be kind” at the top of our lists each day. The sisters sitting beside me and I thought it was a grand idea, especially since it supported the Relief Society motto “Charity never faileth” (Moroni 7:46).
Then I read a story about a pioneer woman. When that woman was a child, the prophet asked her family to help settle a Latter-day Saint community in a remote area. Tragedy befell when one of her siblings died. Her mother was distraught, and deep sadness permeated the family.
One day this little girl was looking out the window. As far as she could see, a blanket of snow surrounded the family’s modest home. As the little girl stared at the horizon, she saw two people trudging toward the house. On they came, slowly making their way, and suddenly the child realized who they were—they were her mother’s visiting teachers.
That story inspired me. I was baptized in May 1983. It is an honor to be a visiting teacher myself. I love associating with so many women who exemplify the “virtuous woman” whose “price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). It is wonderful to be with women who are also striving to be kind, to love one another, and to bring others unto Christ.
The Blessings of Visiting Teaching
Photograph of Sister Thompson © Busath.com
“Many women have reported that the reason they came back into Church activity was because a faithful visiting teacher came month after month and ministered to them, rescuing them, loving them, blessing them. …
“At times the most important blessing about your visit will be to just listen. Listening brings comfort, understanding, and healing. Still another time you may need to roll up your sleeves and go to work in the home or help to calm a crying child.”
Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, “And of Some Have Compassion, Making a Difference,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 120.
How are visiting teachers blessed by their service?
Barbara Thompson helps answer this question in her general Relief Society meeting talk “And of Some Have Compassion, Making a Difference” (Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 120):
“When I went visiting teaching, I always felt better. I was lifted, loved, and blessed, usually much more than the sister I was visiting. My love increased. My desire to serve increased. And I could see what a beautiful way Heavenly Father has planned for us to watch over and care for one another.”
Consider writing your testimony of visiting teaching or home teaching in your journal.
For additional information, see Julie B. Beck, “‘Daughters in My Kingdom’: The History and Work of Relief Society,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 112; and Henry B. Eyring,