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How can I become a better home teacher?

As priesthood holders, we are commanded to “learn [our] duty” and “act … in all diligence” (D&C 107:99). One of the most important duties of Aaronic Priesthood holders is the duty to invite all to come unto Christ (see D&C 20:59). Priests and teachers have the additional duties to “visit the house of each member” and “watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them” (D&C 20:47, 53). One way we fulfill these duties is by serving as home teachers. We are most effective as home teachers when we love, watch over, and strengthen those we are assigned to teach. 

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study the following scriptures and resources. What will help inspire the young men to become better home teachers?

Fulfilling My Duty to God (2010), 28–29, 52–53, 76–77

Alma 18:12–40; 22:4–18 (Examples of Ammon and Aaron)

D&C 20:46–59 (Aaronic Priesthood holders have a duty to invite all to come unto Christ)

Thomas S. Monson, “True Shepherds,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013

Responsibilities of Home Teachers,” Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 7.4.1

The Teaching Part of Home Teaching,” Teaching, No Greater Call (1999), 145–46

Video: “Home Teaching: Encouraging Aaronic Priesthood Holders”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Invite the young men to report on what they did to fulfill any assignments they received during last week’s lesson.
  • Invite the young men to share experiences they have had as home teachers or being visited by home teachers. Why does the Lord ask priesthood holders to visit families as home teachers?

Learn together

The purpose of this lesson is to help each young man make a plan to become a better home teacher. Give the young men time during quorum meeting to write plans in their Duty to God books. Encourage them to share their plans with each other. In future quorum meetings, invite them to share experiences they have serving as home teachers.

  • Read together Doctrine and Covenants 20:53, and invite the young men to make a list (or draw a picture) of ways home teachers can “watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them.” How can the young men improve as home teachers? Consider inviting the bishop, high priests group leader, or elders quorum president to talk to the quorum about how to be a good home teacher. (See Duty to God, 52, 76.) Consider asking the young men to think of questions in advance that they could ask these leaders about home teaching. Invite the young men to turn to the “Act” section of their Duty to God books (page 55 or 77) and make plans to become better home teachers.
  • Ask each young man to read one of the stories from President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “True Shepherds.” Ask each to come to the front of the room, retell the story in his own words, and share what it teaches about how he can be a better home teacher.
  • Divide the quorum into two groups, and ask each group to make a list of ways they can improve as home teachers. After a few minutes, invite one group to add to their list by reading “The Teaching Part of Home Teaching” in Teaching, No Greater Call, 145–46. Invite the other group to add to their list by reading section 7.4.1 of Handbook 2. Ask the groups to share their lists, and encourage each young man to select one thing from the list he will work on before his next home teaching visit. Invite the quorum members to role-play an effective home teaching visit.
  • Show the video “Home Teaching: Encouraging Aaronic Priesthood Holders,” and ask the young men to look for ways Aaronic Priesthood holders can participate in home teaching. What experiences can the young men share that are similar to what they see in the video? What do the young men learn from this video that can help them improve as home teachers?
  • Ask half of the quorum to read about Ammon in Alma 18:12–40; ask the other half to read about Aaron in Alma 22:4–18. Invite them to look for and share things they learn from Ammon and Aaron that could help them become better home teachers—for example, the way they taught by the Spirit, taught with love, adapted their teachings to meet needs, bore testimony, used the scriptures, asked questions, and so on. (This activity is adapted from a personal study activity on page 193 of Preach My Gospel).

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to become better home teachers? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Help the quorum prepare a short presentation about home teaching based on what they learned today. They could share it with the elders quorum in a future quorum meeting.
  • Explain that in the upcoming weeks, they will be invited to share the experiences they are having.