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Visiting Teaching Message (Sep ’10)

2 September 2010 4 Comments

“Our Responsibility to Nurture the Rising Generation,” Ensign/Liahona, Sep 2010

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Study this material and, as appropriate, discuss it with the sisters you visit. Use the questions to help you strengthen your sisters and to make Relief Society an active part of your own life.

From the Scriptures

Proverbs 22:6; “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Ephesians 6:4; “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Enos 1:1; “Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—”

Alma 53:20–21; “And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.”

Alma 56:47; “Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.”

Alma 57:27; “Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually.”

Without nurturing, our rising generation could be in danger of becoming like the one described in Mosiah 26. Many youth didn’t believe the traditions of their fathers and became a separate people as to their faith, remaining so ever after. Our rising generation could likewise be led away if they don’t understand their part in Heavenly Father’s plan.

So what is it that will keep the rising generation safe? In the Church, we teach saving principles, and those principles are family principles, the principles that will help the rising generation to form a family, teach that family, and prepare that family for ordinances and covenants—and then the next generation will teach the next and so on.

As parents, leaders, and Church members, we are preparing this generation for the blessings of Abraham, for the temple. We have the responsibility to be very clear on key points of doctrine found in the proclamation on the family. Motherhood and fatherhood are eternal roles and responsibilities. Each of us carries the responsibility for either the male or the female half of the plan.

We can teach this doctrine in any setting. We must speak respectfully of marriage and family. And from our example, the rising generation can gain great hope and understanding—not just from the words we speak but from the way we feel and emanate the spirit of family.

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president.

From Our History

Addressing the sisters at the general Relief Society meeting on September 23, 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “The world we are in is a world of turmoil, of shifting values. Shrill voices call out for one thing or another in betrayal of time-tested standards of behavior.”1 President Hinckley then went on to introduce to the sisters, the Church, and ultimately people everywhere “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

In subsequent years this prophetic document has been translated into many languages and distributed to world leaders. It asks citizens and government leaders “to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” 2

The proclamation has become the foundation for Latter-day Saint beliefs about the family, a statement to which we can hold fast and know that by living its precepts, we are strengthening our families and homes.

What Can I Do?
1. How can I help my sisters use “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” to nurture the rising generation? You might consider sharing a copy of the proclamation and helping your sisters identify and mark those passages that would best teach key doctrines.
2. How can I nurture the rising generation? You might consider reaching out to members of your ward, branch, family, or community who could benefit from your attention and love.

For more information, go to www.reliefsociety.lds.org.

Right: photo illustration by Christina Smith

Notes
1. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stand Strong against the Wiles of the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 99.
2. See “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.

This article is found on LDS.org and posted here simply as a quick and easy reference.

4 Comments »

  • Barbara Criswell said:

    Thank you soooo much. You have made my life so very much easier and it gives me a way to show how much I love my dear, dear sisters. I will probably give “seed Packets” to my daughters, as well. Love your help.

  • Edythe Petersen said:

    I am sure there are many faith promoting stories about Visiting Teaching. However, I do not personally feel the need for Visiting Teachers. I live in Utah, all my friends are active LDS sisters, I attend my meetings. I have discussed this with the Relief Society president in my ward and she says I should not deny my sisters the blessings of being my Visiting Teachers, nor should I deny myself the blessings of receiving them into my home. It’s not a blessing to me if they come and stay for 2 hours; frankly, I wouldn’t call my visiting teachers if I had a problem – I’d call one of my friends. I truly feel that the sisters in my ward are constantly being beaten by the “Visiting Teaching stick”; we should do VT because we WANT to, not because we have to meet some statistic for the Stake. I VT 2 sisters who are not interested. I do not give them a message. One of them likes to see us, the other one doesn’t care. Do I sound bitter? I don’t mean to, I’m just practical.

  • admin (author) said:

    Oh Dear Edythe,
    To me Visiting Teaching is as you suggested, just being their friend. Friends care about you, friends care if you are going to church, friends care if you’re sick, friends care if you’re having a bad day and if they were your friends you wouldn’t mind having them over for 2 hours. ;) It’s the beginning part that’s awkward and not super friendly. I hate the beginning part. I look at Visiting Teaching like this…I get a slip with some sisters names on it, I know those are the sisters I need to be friends with so I will try and find out what they like, what they don’t like, who’s in their fam, what her calling is, does she work, does she stay home and work at raising kids, etc… Then I can know how to better serve her. If she works and has long grass, I should mow her lawn, if she stays at home and just had a new baby, I should make her dinner, if she like to scrapbook then I’ll bring her a stamp or paper, if she likes to read I’ll see what books she likes and try and read one so that we will have something else to talk about. See…just like a friend would do. After serving her for a few months then a relationship is established and trust is built and then it’s not just Visiting Teaching, it’s a real friendship. Go out to lunch, have the kids play while we hang out, have the dogs play together… That’s what it’s about. You don’t even consider calling your supervisor a chore because you can report on how your “friend” is doing and if she needs anything besides the things you are doing for her. Visiting Teaching is an action, you visit and you teach the gospel to your friends which have been inspired to be in your care. Sometimes, I have come to know some sisters and I believe I knew them in the pre-existence. It’s amazing! It’s such a special and sacred call, you just have to want to do it because you love the Lord. Not for the numbers but because you genuinely care for them and want to make sure you see them. I text, call, email, comment on their Facebook wall or just visit with the sisters I Visit Teach weekly and most of the time they are the ones calling me to hang out. LOL That’s how it should be, they love you because you are their friend and you love them not because of a slip of paper that you end up misplacing anyways, but because you serve them. You always love those you serve! I don’t think you’re bitter, not everyone has the same experiences Visiting Teaching. I didn’t love it until I tried to be the Visiting Teacher I always wanted, a best friend. And everyone needs best friends! :) May the Lord bless you for your service and love you put forth in becoming a true friend to the sisters you Visit Teach. You sound like you are an amazing friend which is why you have been asked to be a Visiting Teacher.
    Love you,
    Linda

  • admin (author) said:

    Barbara,
    You are so cute, glad I could help!
    Love ya,
    Linda