Friday, August 24, 2012

Are Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching Effective - or Even Necessary?

For those who don't need regular visits, the HT/VT program isn't effective. However, for those who do need it, it can be a life-saver - especially for those in places where fellow members don't live close and for those who tend to slip through the cracks without assignment. In my opinion, it's not the program in and of itself that is the problem; it's the way it is run by too many members and local leaders. I believe the program is inspired - but too often the implentation is not.

I really do believe it is inspired, but it would be totally redundant and unnecessary if we loved and served each other as we should. In Zion, caring for others would happen without assignment. Until that day, I want HT/VT to continue - with some out-of-the-box, fresh thinking and implementation.


Paul said...

In many cases, the "need" for a home teacher only becomes clear after years of "unnecessary" visits which have resulted in friendship and familiarity, allowing the family to call on the HT when needed.

ji said...

Home teaching existed before wards and before stakes and before Sunday Schools and before almost everything else. It is fundamental to God's way. God's way is teaching, and teaching in the home.

Sacrament meeting in air-conditioned buildings with a nice organ is a cultural thing. Home teaching is fundamental. If for some reason the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop (the entity that owns all the U. S. ward and stae buildings) ever failed and we lost all of our buildings, we could still do God's work by teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in each other's homes.

This said, home teaching has picked up some cultural baggage over the years. Some people can't see real home teaching because this baggage is in the way.

Papa D said...

Thanks for your comments, Paul and ji. I agree totally with them.

Glenn Thigpen said...

Over the years I have see an appreciable decline in both the quantity and quality of Home and Visiting Teaching. And the membership rolls in wards and branches are filled with inactive members.

I have seen quality home teaching bring inactive members back into activity. I have even have a couple of those on my list.

Yet, in the last three wards that I have attended, I was not even assigned as a home teacher, although I personally requested it. Maybe I've got bad breath.

I believe that the Home and Visiting Teaching programs are vitally important to the various wards and branches.


Matthew said...

Ran into this today:

ji, I could not agree more with everything you said there. You have it exactly right.