Visiting Teaching Message (Apr ’12)
Love, Watch Over, and Strengthen , Ensign/Liahona, April 2012
Prayerfully 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.
Love, Watch Over, and Strengthen
Like the Savior, visiting teachers minister one by one (see 3 Nephi 11:15). We know we are successful in our ministering as visiting teachers when our sisters can say:
(1) my visiting teacher helps me grow spiritually;
(2) I know my visiting teacher cares deeply about me and my family; and
(3) if I have problems, I know my visiting teacher will take action without waiting to be asked.1
How can we as visiting teachers love, watch over, and strengthen a sister? Following are nine suggestions found in chapter 7 of Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society to help visiting teachers minister to their sisters:
- Pray daily for her and her family.
- Seek inspiration to know her and her family.
- Visit her regularly to learn how she is doing and to comfort and strengthen her.
- Stay in frequent contact through visits, phone calls, letters, e-mail, text messages, and simple acts of kindness.
- Greet her at Church meetings.
- Help her when she has an emergency, illness, or other urgent need.
- Teach her the gospel from the scriptures and the Visiting Teaching Messages.
- Inspire her by setting a good example.
- Report to a Relief Society leader about their service and the sister’s spiritual and temporal well-being.
From the Scriptures
Luke 10:38–39; 38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
3 Nephi 11:23–26; 23 Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. 24 And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: 25 Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 26 And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.
3 Nephi 27:21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
From Our History
“Visiting teaching has become a vehicle for Latter-day Saint women worldwide to love, nurture, and serve—to ‘act according to those sympathies which God has planted in [our] bosoms,’ as Joseph Smith taught.”2
A sister who had recently been widowed said of her visiting teachers: “They listened. They comforted me. They wept with me. And they hugged me. … [They] helped me out of the deep despair and depression of those first few months of loneliness.”3
Help with temporal tasks is also a form of ministering. At the October 1856 general conference, President Brigham Young announced that handcart pioneers were stranded in deep snow 270–370 miles (435–595 km) away. He called for the Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City to rescue them and to “attend strictly to those things which we call temporal.”4
Lucy Meserve Smith recorded that the women took off their warm underskirts and stockings right there in the tabernacle and piled them into wagons to send to the freezing pioneers. Then they gathered bedding and clothing for those who would eventually come with few belongings. When the handcart companies arrived, a building in the town was “loaded with provisions for them.”5
For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.
What Can I Do?
- How can I know what my sisters need?
- How will my sisters know that I care deeply about them?
1. See Julie B. Beck, “What I Hope My Granddaughters (and Grandsons) Will Understand about Relief Society,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2011, 113.