"Today, countless women in the Church reach out to others through visiting teaching and compassionate service, which are still the heart of Relief Society. They bless the lives of others-and buoy up those who may be discouraged or homesick, frightened or disheartened. They remember the counsel given us by a prophet that 'God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom' (Spencer W. Kimball, "Small Acts of Service", Ensign, Dec. 1974, p. 5)."—Sister Joy F. Evans, Lord, When Saw We Thee An Hungred, General Conference, April 1989
"Elder Bruce R. McConkie has so eloquently taught us that service is essential to salvation. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. Progress is not created by contented people. It is up to us, you and me, to be uncomfortable in complacency, to refrain from being spectators, and to be players in the game of life. The Lord has chosen His people to perform a mighty work. Our home teaching, our visiting teaching should be more than going; it should be doing with Christian love. It can be done; you can each do your portion of the work because you desire it."—Elder Russell C. Taylor, The Joy of Service, General Conference, October 1984
"The first-line support to the families in the Church organization is priesthood home teaching and Relief Society visiting teaching. These functions provide two important services. They keep the bishop, the quorum leader, and the Relief Society president adequately informed of the physical, emotional, temporal, and spiritual condition of the membership. They also have teaching opportunities and serve as a resource to provide some of the training to the families as they prepare for self-sufficiency."—Elder L. Tom Perry, The Need to Teach Personal and Family Preparedness, General Conference, April 1981
"Welfare services is the full program the Lord has provided us--provident living, personal and family preparedness, home and visiting teaching, producing and distributing goods to the poor, rehabilitating members with especially difficult needs or handicaps, securing jobs for the unemployed, restoring emotionally disturbed souls to full activity in the Church and society, with all of us consecrating our lives to the building up of the kingdom of God on earth."—President Spencer W. Kimball, The Fruit Of Our Welfare Services Labors, General Conference, October 1978
"I bear testimony to you that home teaching is the divinely inspired method by which we can best touch lives within this Church. Right beside this tremendous priesthood process is Relief Society visiting teaching. Paul had the spirit of home teaching and visiting teaching when he wrote to Timothy: 'And the things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.' (2 Tim. 2:2.)"—Elder Robert L. Simpson, These Four Things, General Conference, April 1976
"I have another good friend--a contemporary of mine--Geneva Brown. She has also been a great inspiration to me. A number of years ago she became afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Her health steadily deteriorated, confining her to a wheelchair. It would have been an easy thing for her to give up, but it was not her nature. She was a person who was used to doing and being busy in all kinds of things. But she has shown more determination than ever and has kept herself busy.
We saw her one day just coming out of the temple. I watched as her husband wheeled her across the street from the temple to the car, as he opened the door, and as she lifted herself from the wheelchair into the car. I kept wanting to reach out and help her some way. But she has learned how to manage. She is interested in people and things. How easy it would have been for her to refuse a calling in the Church, even to be a visiting teacher. Certainly she had an excuse. She didn't need to be a visiting teacher, but it was not her nature to quit. She was able to drive a car with special controls, so she would go on her visiting teaching rounds with her companion. When she arrived at the home of the sister to be visited, a beep of the horn would bring the sister out of her home to sit in the back seat of the car and be taught. Neighbors along the street, seeing the fun that was going on, would come out of their homes and join them until there was a car full. Many were lifted and edified by this wonderful woman who was willing to push on and go the extra mile."—President Barbara W. Winder, "No Joy Without The Struggle", BYU Speeches of the Year 1987-88, 7 June 1987
"Opportunities to lose oneself for the good of others present themselves daily:... visiting teaching; time for compassionate service; giving comfort to those who need strength; serving with diligence in Church callings;... Truly, the day of sacrifice is not past."—President Ezra Taft Benson, This Is A Day Of Sacrifice, General Conference, April 1979
"In any pursuit and under any condition, we can ask ourselves what would Jesus do and then determine our own course accordingly. For example, what sort of home teacher would the Savior be? Would He occasionally miss visiting families? Would He visit them without a message? Or would He minister to His families like the Good Shepherd that He is, with constant watch care and loving kindness? Deep in our hearts we know what kind of home teacher Jesus would be, just as we know what kind of bishop, teacher, Primary leader, clerk, or youth adviser He would be. Even though we could never in this life measure up completely to His standard of excellence, our attempt to do so will lead us to do far better than otherwise." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony," Ensign (CR), November 1992, p.34
"We must take seriously our responsibility to reach out in love to those among us who may be lonely or unhappy—who are struggling with problems or temptations. They will find friends somewhere; they will find comfort somewhere. What is our failure if they find it elsewhere because we were not there, were not welcoming?
needed you—I couldn't find
you—I don't need you anymore.'
We must not let this happen if there is any way for us to be there
when we are needed." - Joy F. Evans, "Lord, When Saw We Thee an
Hungred?", Ensign (CR), May 1989, p.73
“Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of the Prophet Joseph, said at the second meeting of Relief Society, ‘We must cherish one another, comfort one another and watch over one another.’ I would add, We must nurture, protect, defend, support, cheer, and love one another. As long as we feel this concern and love, visiting teaching will be a successful and important part of who we are as Latter-day Saints.” - Elaine L. Jack, “Eye to Eye, Heart to Heart,” p. 142
Such falling away concerns me. As I have traveled and met new converts, their eyes ablaze with the joy and peace their newfound faith has brought them, I have seen them make great sacrifices to join the fold. We must honor their sacrifice by loving them and strengthening them. My desire is to plead with our sisters to stop worrying about a phone call or a quarterly or monthly visit, and whether that will do, and concentrate instead on nurturing tender souls. Our responsibility is to see that the gospel flame continues to burn brightly. Our charge is to find the lost sheep and help them feel our Savior’s love. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell says, “It is easier to find and to help ‘the one’ when the ‘ninety and nine’ are securely together.” – Mary Ellen Smoot, “Pioneer Shoes through the Ages,” Ensign (CR) November 1997
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