Latter-day Saints for Change

"And he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." 2 Nephi 26:33

Home Teaching: From Guilty Obligation to Sincere Service

I would change the institutionalism of home teaching. Strong families with a father in the home don’t need a monthly visit to satisfy the bishop’s eyes. He sees them in church and they may even be his counselor or scoutmaster.

Instead, treat home teaching as an outreach. Don’t have the presidency just assign all families by inspiration (or desperation), but counsel as a quorum, ask for volunteers to visit the widows or the fatherless. Get rid of the monthly scorecard. Use a quarterly quorum meeting to counsel together and make necessary assignments and then use a quorum meeting at the end of the quarter to return and report. Don’t visit active families with active fathers in the home- save that effort for those who can really benefit. If an active quorum member does need some help at home he can ask for it in the quorum meeting.

Someone may say that such a strategic, surgical approach to home teaching doesn’t allow the Church to accurately determine a percentage due to the quarterly list changing based on the immediate needs of the ward. Also, not everyone in the Church would be visited and figure into the quarterly percentages. Exactly my point. It changes from a guilty obligation to sincere service with only God keeping record.

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3 thoughts on “Home Teaching: From Guilty Obligation to Sincere Service

  1. Also, make husband-wife home teacher pairs more standard, combining much of home teaching and visiting teaching. Basically, they don’t need to be divided as long as everyone’s needs are met.

  2. Thanks so much for submitting this idea. The HT/VT programs were actually something I really liked in the church, but that was definitely influenced by several HTers and VTers that went the extra mile to be my friend and not just mark me off once a month. But I would hesitate to try and judge who may or may not need a friend. Sometimes it’s the most active, most “Mormon” mormons that have some of the deepest hurts…

  3. From my experience in the church, I would say that most “callings” have some guilt attached. From my experience in Young Men, we had some really good “inactive” boys from a bad home. I was constantly told to visit them, all against the will of their family. I went one last time to their house and no one was home. It came out a week later that the boys were put in foster care. It was implied by the Bishopric that had SOMEONE (1-2-3, stare at Troy) had made a better “shepherding” effort they wouldn’t be in that position. At this point, I realized I was the sheep. Baaaaaahhhhaaa! I guess I should have exercised their “agency” for them.

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