In October 2016, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles invited priesthood holders to lift their vision of home teaching, to leave tradition behind, and to serve as Jesus Christ would serve (see “Emissaries to the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 2016, 61–62, 67).
As faithful home teachers all over the world allow themselves to be guided by inspiration rather than just tradition, they “bear one another’s burdens, … mourn with those that mourn, … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:8–9).
The following accounts come from Latter-day Saints who, in their time of need, found home teachers ready to reach out and help.
As a college student, I went through a painful experience with a dishonest roommate and found myself moving in with my grandmother. At the time I needed love and support from people I knew I could trust. The elders quorum president in my ward was assigned to be my home teacher. He and his various companions visited faithfully every month. They never did anything particularly miraculous or extraordinary (right then I just needed ordinary); they simply came every month to share the First Presidency Message with us and then followed up with sincere questions about how I was doing at school, at work, and in my personal and spiritual life. They were always available to help if we needed something. I felt like they truly cared and wanted me to succeed.
But beyond all of these things, the greatest blessing they brought to my grandmother and me was an added measure of the Spirit. Simply having a priesthood holder within the walls of my home each month brought me great comfort and peace of mind during a difficult time in my life. I am eternally grateful for home teachers who came.
Chelsea Frandsen, Utah, USA
Years ago, my family moved across the country, leaving behind 25 years of wonderful memories, friends, and family. It was a difficult move for my parents as well as for us children, but our new home teacher had been assigned to our family ahead of time, and he was waiting and ready for us when we arrived. On his first visit and every visit after, he asked us three questions: (1) Are you having personal and family prayer? (2) Are you having personal and family scripture study? (3) Are you having weekly family home evening?
This small and simple act has had a lasting impact on me. Our home teacher knew we were facing challenges. He also knew the principles that would help us get through our challenges and find peace. He understood that if we did these things consistently, we would be strengthened, comforted, and guided.
This home teacher did many other things for us as well, but the priority that he placed on prayer, scripture study, and family home evening was a great blessing and strength to my family then and has continued to be a blessing to us now.
Megan Thorup, Texas, USA
Early in our marriage, my wife and I decided to make the appointments with our home teachers and welcome them into our home. I wanted those blessings for my family.
Home teachers have the primary responsibility to initiate appointments, of course, but it has been helpful to have both sides contacting one another. I have often called our home teachers to set up an appointment, making sure it fits with their schedule too.
Over the years, we have enjoyed many visits from wonderful home teachers who have become true friends. When we had to relocate out of state for my work, I didn’t hesitate to call a former home teacher when our van broke down on moving day. And when we were settling into our new ward, our children asked, “When are you going to invite the home teachers?” I did as soon as they were assigned.
Byron Stepherson, Idaho, USA