As visiting teachers, we have an important spiritual mission to fulfill. “The bishop, who is the ordained shepherd of the ward, cannot possibly watch over all of the Lord’s sheep at one time. He is dependent on inspired visiting teachers to help him.”1 Seeking and receiving revelation as to who should be assigned to watch over each sister is essential.
Inspiration begins as members of the Relief Society presidency prayerfully discuss the needs of individuals and families. Then, with the bishop’s approval, the Relief Society presidency gives the assignment in a way that helps sisters understand that visiting teaching is an important spiritual responsibility.2
Visiting teachers sincerely come to know and love each sister, help her strengthen her faith, and give service when needed. They seek personal inspiration to know how to respond to the spiritual and temporal needs of each sister they visit.3
“Visiting teaching becomes the Lord’s work when our focus is on people rather than percentages. In reality, visiting teaching is never finished. It is more a way of life than a task.”4
Eliza R. Snow, the second Relief Society general president taught, “I consider the office of a teacher a high and holy office.” She counseled visiting teachers “to be filled with the Spirit of God, of wisdom, of humility, of love” before they visited homes so they would be able to ascertain and meet spiritual needs as well as temporal ones. She said, “You may feel to talk words of peace and comfort, and if you find a sister feeling cold, take her to your heart as you would a child to your bosom and warm [her] up.”5
As we go forth in faith as the early Relief Society sisters did, we will have the Holy Ghost with us and be inspired to know how to help each sister we visit. “Let [us] seek for wisdom instead of power,” said Sister Snow, “and [we] will have all the power [we] have wisdom to exercise.”6