What is being a Visiting Teacher?
Being a Visiting Teacher is a calling us female members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can have after we become part of the Relief Society (women older than 18 group). The President will assign us a “partner” or “companion” and she’ll also assign us a few sisters of whom we are asked to “watch over.”
“Good visiting teachers know the sisters they visit. They love them, serve them, and help them learn the gospel by the Spirit. They focus on fortifying homes and lives. There is no greater privilege than to watch over and strengthen another person—it is truly the business of salvation.”*
Sister Julie B. Beck Relief Society general president when asked: “How does Relief Society make a difference in the world?” Replied by saying, “…We have many organized groups of women, called Relief Societies [as of Dec 2007 we had 27,827 Relief Societies all across the world**]. We send the Church Handbook of Instructions to the president of each group. The women gather together often to study the gospel and to learn how to care for their families.
The president divides the Relief Society women into pairs that visit the women in their homes, where they assess needs. Is anyone sick? Do they have enough food and clothing? Do they have the education they need? After the visits the women report what they found. Someone needs shoes, someone is having a baby, and one of them needs work. They ask if within their group they have the needed resources. Most of the time they do. That is what we do for our women.”*
That’s us, the Visiting Teachers! I guess the Lord does require a lot but, “For of [her] unto whom much is given much is required.” I hope we can all remember that even though they have been entrusted to us, they are our sisters and we all have the same Heavenly Father. We must watch over each other so we can all return to live with Him someday.
* Quotes from: Julie B. Beck, “Focusing on the Lord’s Work of Salvation,” Ensign & Liahona, Mar 2009
** I added these fun stats so you all could get an idea of how many Relief Societies there are all over the world who each have Visiting Teachers assgined to Visit Teach the sisters within their wards or branches. Stats for the end of 2008 have not yet been announced or published.