Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Visiting Others: A Key Part of Gospel Living

While I feel that some of what I am doing with this rough little blog and my Website (JeffLindsay.com) has value for others (from my biased LDS perspective, of course), on one recent afternoon it all seemed rather trivial after a brief visit to a woman in the area who hadn't had contact with the Church for a while. Some may have thought that she didn't want contact, and her unavailability in the past might have discouraged some from visiting her, but she was quite happy to schedule an appointment and be visited. The timing was right, that's for sure. She was so in need of a visit, so in need of some simple ministering, so grateful to meet and talk and share her worries, that I walked away feeling that I could not possibly have done anything better with my time that Sunday afternoon. Both my son and I were uplifted and strengthened by the visit, as was she. It was a rather random visit, just a little something extra, but it helped make my day feel worthwhile. In comparison, a lot of other things I do seem pretty unimportant.

In pondering this, I realized that no matter who we are and how much we have going on, we must not overlook the call to get out of our shells and visit others. Home teaching and visiting teaching are such inspired programs, as are the other opportunities the Church provides for ministering to others, especially full-time missionary service. Some of my strongest and most testimony-strengthening experiences have come through attempting to minister to others by simply visiting them and trying to help. If you are struggling with your testimony, get out there and serve. Fulfill your calling, seek to minister to others, pray for their welfare and follow what the Spirit suggests to you, get out and do something - and quit wasting so much time on the Internet. At the heart of the ancient and restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the call to feed the Lord's sheep, to minister to the widows and fatherless, to help the needy, to take the Gospel to others - basically, to visit other people and help them. Sometimes I just get too preoccupied with other things, but I hope I won't forget this lesson.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with you more. In the past I have shirked my responsibility of being a Home Teacher. But over the past year I have really tried to get out and visit my families every month. I have and boy has it made me feel better, and even want to do more. This is extremely important to me, mainly because I am the Elder's Quorum President. The Lord has told us time and time again that we must be good examples. I was not being a very good example, so I decided to change. Me and my companion now visit 6 families monthly, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. It is tough at first, if you haven't been going, but after you get to know the families it is great. Hometeaching works!!

Sarebear said...

I hesitate to post from the visitee's point of view, but here goes.

I can say, that a visit, does SO MUCH MORE than you can POSSIBLY imagine!

I try to get to church, but due to a variety of mental illnesses, I have a hard time doing anything consistently.

I do have home teachers and visiting teachers, and they are great, but the oh so rare unscheduled visit, is like manna from heaven.

Last year, a young couple in the ward dropped by with a plate of cookies around 9-ish Monday night, as they had felt like they wanted to provide service to someone, and my name came to them.

I certainly don't expect help or service, but in my situation, especially where I ache for human contact, the littlest things (although some people, alot of them, see visiting as a not so little thing, and a huge bother) can make the biggest difference.

True, my bipolar cycling will always eventually take me to those low lonely places again, but it helps out so much that day or week, to know that somebody actually WANTED to see me, WANTED to take the time to come over.

See my post in my August Archives entitled, Those footsteps are never for me, to see what it's like to know no one's ever going to come.

Anyway, Thank you for thinking of others and visiting, it is such a great th ing.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog.
If either yourself or any other Mormon you know would be comfortable talking about the Mormon beliefs in a calm setting, I have a family friendly discussion forum...registration is free.
There is a Mormon thread in the christian section and a topic on "Feminism" in the debate section.
http://s3.invisionfree.com/Hearts_Afire
Forum rules are posted at the top of the various sections.

Wren - Montreal, Canada

Anonymous said...

In addition to visits, activities are nice.

Today our Ward had a Labor Day breakfast for High Priests and the families they home teach.

Our HPG leadership made breakfast for all. 50 people atended including many inactive people, prospective elders, plus the ward widows. A very comfortable and friendly setting. The Bishop and his cadre were able to make contact with many they would not be able to see otherwise.

Who made it happen? A great HPG leader.

Thanks Jeff.

Steve said...

Attending BYC every month was not one of the more interesting parts of my youth. But I did it, for years, and didn't think much of it. Until my mission, when I served as a Branch President in a remote area of Costa Rica. Where did most of my knowledge of how to run a ward/branch come from? BYC.

Sometimes the callings we receive (i.e. home/visiting teaching) aren't always meant to help others; sometimes they're to help us.