My dream for home teaching

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My dream is to one day not have to assign home teachers in my quorum. Every quorum member would be so willing and proactive to help out the others out of love that it would be pointless to have to make assignments.

Visiting each other would be spontaneous. As would service and spiritual advice.

No stats would need to be collected. No phone calls made. No PPIs held. No reports printed for the bishop.

No one would have to stand up in elders quorum to arrange help for his moves. They would just have to announce the day and time and a tonne of people would show up. Even better, word would pass around spontaneously that a quorum member is moving and everyone would show up.

That’s what D&C 20:42 is all about.

Sigh.

13 thoughts on “My dream for home teaching

  1. I’ve thought a little about this and I think there are 2 ways of thinking about home teaching (it sounds like you subscribe to the first):

    1) Home teaching exists because we are too lazy and selfish to take care of each other without being “assigned” and prodded.

    2) Home teaching exists as a way to organize our righteous efforts. Even if everyone in the quorum is well intentioned, if there is no organization, it’s likely some people will be forgotten once in a while. And the idea that we are given the responsibility for a group of families is simply God’s way or organization. In other words, home teachers are to their families as Bishops are to wards.

    I’m not sure which one is right, or maybe they are both partially right.

  2. I think I’d probably go with something like the following:

    Home teaching exists because members are very human and would tend to take care of the other people, with whom, they enjoy spending time; without being “assigned” and prodded members wouldn’t have anything to do with certain members of the ward because they have primarily only one thing in common with these people – that being geographically associated ward attendance.

  3. Rick, I tend to agree with your more forgiving version of my #1. (I actually didn’t mean to make it sounds so harsh).

    But I also have some respect for the #2 point of view that compares the home teacher to a bishop. We usually don’t say that bishops exist because people are too human to effectively take care of everyone without some organization. We normally consider the Bishop to be an essential part of the church organization regardless of how good the members are. But then, again, the analogy does break down (as all analogies do, by definition) since home teachers don’t preside over their families in the same way that the bishop presides over the ward.

  4. This is any interesting thought. It seems pretty close to impossible but I think that little glimpses of what that could be like are so amazing and uplifting to see. When a member takes initiative and really makes things happen.

  5. Kim,

    I see what you are saying, and like I said I tend to agree with your point of view, but by that reasoning, shouldn’t we also say the same thing about all of our organization? Do we really need bishops, relief society presidents, area presidencies? Did the Nephites have these? Shouldn’t we all just be so in tune with the Spirit that we spontaneously help everyone around us, so that no organization is necessary? My point is that some appears to be necessary beyond just the “we are imperfect, therefore we need prodding” reasoning. We know that in the celestial kingdom there will be organization–a patriarichal one.

    The question is whether home teaching is part of the organization that just exists because we need prodding, or if it part the organization that is necessary for other reasons (such as the reasons that bishops and other leaders are necessary). I agree that the Nephites probably didn’t need much prodding after Christ’s visit to acheive their Zion, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t need or have organization.

  6. The difference though is that bishops, for example, are scriptural. So is the organization of the church generally. Even the Nephites after Jesus’s visit still had at least apostles.

    Home teaching, however, is a programme created to try meeting a scriptural principle.

  7. I’ll concede that’s a good argument for home teaching existing only because of our weakness.

    Although one could argue that just because something isn’t scriptural does not make it unnecessary to the church, regardless of the spirituality of the members. It’s possible that God instituted the program, through his prophet, for reasons that may include, but not be limited to, the fact that we need prodding.

    But there a lot of things that could be argued, and a lot of things that are possible, so I’ll admit that I’m getting into hypotheticals here and probably should have stopped a long time ago.

    So to bring this back to the original point, I agree that it would great if “every quorum member would be so willing and proactive to help out the others out of love that it would be pointless to have to make assignments.” I regret that my comment distracted the conversation away from that more important point.

  8. “one could argue that just because something isn’t scriptural does not make it unnecessary to the church”

    Take, for instance, what takes place in the temple.

  9. let me know when that ward exists Kim!! But you make a fine point. My goal this month is to not only make sure my sisters are checked on but to check on other sisters as well “just because”. I can’t do anything to change anyone else but I can change myself and do my part to make the ward a better place.

  10. I can’t do anything to change anyone else but I can change myself

    That’s what really matters. One can only hope that your changes can influence others as they see how you’ve changed. Eventually, one can hope it would have a domino effect.

  11. Not sure I could agree with home teaching not being scriptural based. Scripture comes by revelation. Home teaching came by revelation, therefore it had to exist before. You cannot reveal something that doesn’t exist. I think home teaching has always been a principle of the celestial kingdom. It may not have been called “Home Teaching” in heaven, but the principle of it is eternal and true. Since heaven is organized, I believe home teaching must be organized up there as well. I believe we will always need someone to check up on us – even when we are perfect. Perfect people have needs too.

    Once anything in the church gets instituted it gets recorded and eventually all the dealings of this dispensation will be bound in scripture as previous generations have been. One day, someone who did not live in this dispensation will pick up the Book of the last dispensation of this earth and read about us.

  12. So you’re telling me that obedient, faithful Mormons won’t be able to escape their home teachers (or their obligation to home teach) even after death?

    This, I’m sure, will disappoint some…

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