What are visiting teachers and home teachers in the Mormon Church REALLY for?

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Dear Gramps,
What are visiting teachers and home teachers REALLY for? I know the Mormon Church has instituted visiting and home teaching programs to help care for and nurture those in the ward. My resentment stems from all the negative experiences I have had at the hands from so many visiting teachers.
Jessica

 

Dear Jessica,
The members of the Mormon Church are just people. Your visiting teaching experiences apparently have left much to be desired. But those visiting teachers are merely growing in the gospel. So we need to be kind and forgiving and to overlook the faults of others. If you have a particular problem with a specific visiting teacher it would not be inappropriate to take your concern to the Relief Society President, where matters could likely be worked out.
But there is a perspective from each side of the door. I know of a business man in one of the cities with a large Mormon Church population where the bishop of the Ward asked a very busy business man to be a home teacher. He told the bishop that he was responsible for the welfare of 200 employees and it really took all of his time, and felt that he didn’t have the time to be a home teacher. So the bishop assigned a rather high government official in the Ward to be his home teacher. Not long after that, the business man returned to the bishop and said something to the effect that he had got the message and was willing to accept the call. So the bishop assigned him to visit just one home. He went there three months in a row and a very distraught woman answered the door each time and said that she couldn’t let him in at that time and closed the door. So the businessman concluded that his assignment was really a waste of time, and he planned to tell the bishop on the next Sunday that he wouldn’t be doing it any more.
That next Sunday was testimony meeting, and who should appear and walk up to the pulpit to bear her testimony but the woman who wouldn’t let him in to see her. In her testimony she recounted the extreme difficulty that she was in and that she had determined to take her own life. On three occasions, just as she was about to do herself in, there came a knock at the door and her home teacher was there. She thanked him for saving her life, and was able to overcome her difficulty and return to activity in the Church.
That account is rather dramatic, but this is the Lord’s Church. He loves and cares for his people. The home teaching and visiting teaching programs were given to the Church by the Lord Himself. Those programs serve a vital and essential service, both for the help that the teachers can give to families in need, and for the growth and development that they themselves experience by serving in those positions.
Gramps

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What are visiting teachers and home teachers in the Mormon Church REALLY for? - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
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What are visiting teachers and home teachers REALLY for? I know the Mormon Church has instituted visiting and home teaching programs to help care for and nurture those in the ward.

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