February 2018 Visiting Teaching Message
For the February 2018 Visiting Teaching Message, I picked the scripture Mosiah 18:12, “Having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.” The yarn hearts were the perfect image for “knitting” and for Valentine’s Day.
They were also a lot of fun to make. You just cut out a cardboard heart and then wrap it with yarn!
I liked the scripture so much, that I also printed out a larger one to put on my shelf.
Download February 2018 Visiting Teaching
Reaching out to others is so important, but it isn’t always easy for all of us. As a born introvert, I can attest to that. I love being social and I love people, but it is hard work.
Growing up, I was so shy, but things changed for me when I realized that people might be as scared to talk to me as I was to talk to them. Before, I was too busy thinking about what others thought about me or being disappointed when nobody talked to me. It never before occurred to me that maybe others were feeling the same way. Maybe I wasn’t the only shy person in the room. Maybe there was somebody who needed me to come talk to them.
As I started to focus on others, the most beautiful thing happened. I got out of my own head and became friends with the most amazing people. I focused on how others felt about themselves rather than how they felt about me. It was liberating! I love being introverted, it makes me happy, but sometimes we have a tendency to be too self-reflective and forget to reflect on others.
When the Relief Society was first created, Lucy Mack Smith, mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, said, “We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another and gain instruction, that we may all sit down in heaven together.”
People need one another. It is part of our heavenly nature, even us introverts! Just like our Heavenly Father’s interactions with us bring Him joy and fulfillment, we need that same interaction.
“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Moses 1:39
The Lord loves us as individuals and our salvation is personal, but He also knows that true salvation is to form loving and meaningful relationships. Relationships like the ones He seeks to develop with us. Immortality is to live forever, but eternal life (salvation) is to live in God’s presence and to continue as families. What makes it eternal life are the relationships we form and get to continue. Our salvation isn’t just about us, it is about tying ourselves to others.
As I look at the gospel and the way the Lord has organized the church, I see that underlining premise everywhere. We are born into families and reliant on each other – sometimes for better or for worse. Babies need their parents and parents need their children as they get older. But it extends beyond the family. In the church, we are given stewardships to look out for each other. Whether it is as a Primary teacher looking over her class or a bishop looking over his ward. All these callings are designed to form relationships.
One of the most beautiful programs for me is the visiting teaching program. Sometimes our safety net of family might fail us or they might be far away. The Lord knew that. None of us are perfect and some face considerable challenges. So he created a “double back up system” – home and visiting teachers. For me, this system is a testimony of His great love for us. There have been many times in my life that this system has saved me.
The other day, I was reading a story about a single mother who just had major surgery and was struggling with her special needs child. She had zero options and no support. I couldn’t help thinking, “She needs a visiting teacher!”
As a society, we are becoming increasingly isolated. Many don’t even know their next-door neighbor. But sometimes we all hit obstacles in life that we can’t get over by ourselves. We need each other. And the only way we are going to be there for somebody is by reaching out.
I love the image of how when we are knit together like in Mosiah 18:12, we create a safety net. So I made these little yarn hearts that have been wrapped up and intertwined as a reminder of the type of relationships that the Lord would have us create.