Ten Steps to Becoming a Trustworthy Visiting Teacher
Step One: Be Committed
- Be consistent in making a monthly visit to the sister's home.
- Set an appointment so the sister is prepared and has time for your visit.
- Beyond the monthly visit, take the opportunity to make contact with each of your sisters in between visits by telephone, email, or personal note.
- Remember her birthday.
- Weave her into your daily life and activities.
- Sisters with special needs or circumstances may require more frequent visits.
Step Two: Be Prayerful
- Pray with your companion prior to visiting with your sisters.
- Pray for each sister and her family in your own private prayers.
- Listen to the promptings of the spirit and follow the inspiration that you are given.
- When appropriate, pray with each sister you visit and leave a blessing on that home.
"To give your heart and soul to visiting teaching requires you to be prayerful about those you visit. The Lord will direct you in doing His work as you listen and respond to his promptings."
-- December 2004 Ensign
Step Three: Be Creative
- Be creative as you are coordinating very busy schedules.
- Be flexible and adapt to the needs of the sister.
- Be creative and resourceful in contacting those sisters who are hard to reach or do not want a visit.
- Don't give up. Whatever the issues are, try your best to resolve them.
- Remember to keep the sister and her family in your prayers.
Step Four: Be Watchful
- Be observant and watchful.
- Watch over those sisters you are given to visit. .:. Learn how you can help care for each sister.
- Practice watchcare.
"Every time we watch over one another, godlike qualities of love, patience, kindness, generosity, and spiritual commitment fill the souls of those we visit and enlarge our souls as well."
-- Bonnie D. Parkin
Step Five: Be a Good Listener
- Often what your sisters need most is someone to thoughtfully listen to them.
- Having a sister to talk to lifts spirits, and helps the sister resolve issues.
- By listening carefully we learn what is important to the sister.
- We can understand her temporal needs.
- We can also be prompted to be the answer to her spiritual needs.
Step Six: Be a Good Teacher
- We need to prepare the lesson. Please read the lesson and think carefully about how the message should be presented to each sister.
- Be sensitive to the needs and circumstances of each sister. Modify the lesson.
- Encourage discussion. This is one of the few opportunities for us as sisters to really discuss gospel principles. Share your knowledge and experiences and encourage the sister to share hers.
- Bear your testimony of the principles being taught. Encourage your companion and the sisters you teach share their testimonies.
"The monthly gospel message we share builds faith and testimony. The giver and the receiver are both edified as they share insights and personal experiences while discussing gospel principles, scriptures, and teachings of our prophets."
-- Silvia H. Allred
Step Seven: Be Concerned and Compassionate
- Be concerned about the things each sister has to face in her daily life.
- Show interest in all aspects of their lives.
- Showing interest in the things that are important to her builds a bond.
- Learn about her family, her children, her work, her hobbies and her testimony.
- Praise her skills and her accomplishments.
- Demonstrate compassion, and kindness in all your interactions.
- Provide caring and compassionate service.
"Who can measure the joy that has come into the lives of women as they have mingled together? Who can fathom the uncountable acts of charity that have been performed, the food that has been put on barren tables, the faith that has been nurtured in desperate hours of illness, the wounds that have been bound up, the pains that have been ameliorated by loving hands and quiet and reassuring words, the comfort that has been extended in times of death and consequent loneliness?”
-- President Gordon B. Hinckley
Step Eight: Be a Mentor
- Be a mentor by helping each sister to grow and progress.
- Offer assistance and share your own skills and knowledge.
- Set an example.
- Be her constant cheerleader.
Step Nine: Be a Caring Friend
- Build a relationship with each sister that includes a spirit of caring, concern, and friendship.
- Let each sister know that you are willing to help her by serving her.
- Show her that you love her and care about her trials and triumphs.
- Build a relationship of trust so that in times of crisis she will reach out to you.
- Each sister needs to trust that you will be there to help, to listen, to encourage and to believe in her.
- Develop a close friendship with your companion.
"One additional blessing is the close friendship that takes place between the two sisters who are companions. We learn from each other, and we love each other as we serve together."
--Silvia H. Allred
Step Ten: Be a Thoughtful Reporter
- Visiting teachers should report each month on the spiritual and temporal well-being of each sister. These reports are given to the visiting teaching supervisor.
- More detailed reports are reported during regular visiting teaching interviews.
- Urgent or confidential needs should be reported immediately to the Relief Society President.
- Report to your Heavenly Father in prayer. Tell him the needs of each sister and ask Him to bless her and her family.
"I pledge to extend my arms of love and compassion to bless, lift, and strengthen each sister I visit."
We know that you can make a difference in the lives of the sisters you visit. Visiting teaching is the gift of a loving Heavenly Father to His daughters. It gives us the opportunity to reach out to each other, create bonds of love, lift each other's burdens, and grow in faith.
Ten Steps to Becoming a Trustworthy Visiting Teacher