January 2018 Visiting Teaching Message
This year, the January 2018 Visiting Teaching message introduces a new program and encourages us to minister as Jesus Christ did. Jesus loves us and is keenly aware of our individual needs. Can you imagine the power we would have as a sisterhood if we cared for each other in that same way?
I love dropping things off for the sisters I visit teach, so I made these little visiting teaching printables to go along with the message. I noticed that you could change the word “mini” to “minister” by just adding a few letters! Plus I liked the idea that the small (or mini) things we do for one another can make a big difference. I choose the scripture from Hebrews 6:10 because it focuses on the love we should feel as we minister to one another.
You can download the printable, including the extra letters for the M&M mini tubes. To get the sizing right, just leave it at 100% when you print it. I then cut them out and stuck it on with double sided tape.
This year, it feels a little like the Lord is taking the training wheels off of visiting teaching. It reminds me of when they did away with the discussions for missionaries. Instead of memorizing what to say, missionaries had to study and plan for themselves, and then tailor that message to the individuals they were teaching.
As visiting teachers, instead of sharing a specific message, we need to be studying, praying, and pondering over the needs of the sisters we visit teach. This forces us to dig deeper and find unique answers and solutions ourselves.
This January, the focus is on ministering to one another anytime and anywhere – Keep In Touch with Her Anytime, Anywhere, Anyway. Reading over the message, I got to thinking about the different meanings of the word “minister.” As a verb, “minister” means to give aid or help. But as a noun, the word minister means to be an agent. For example, a prime minister is an agent of the government or people and a church minister is an agent of the Lord.
When we minister, we can help others as agents of the Lord. This gives us access to greater power, love, and insights. It is also a sacred opportunity to work intimately with Him. It becomes a sort of apprenticeship that allows us to get to know Him and the intricacies of His work better.
As I get older, I get more “cry-y.” And when they sing “As Sisters in Zion” in Relief Society I always get choked up. There is so much power in that song. My favorite line is:
“The errand of angels is given to women;
And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
To do whatsoever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity’s name.”
The song makes me think of the importance of claiming the gifts the Lord has given us as women and living up to our full potential. Do we fully live up to our privilege?
Before she moved, I had a friend who always seemed to show up after I prayed for help. I don’t know how she did it, but if I prayed for help, God always sent her. I have never experienced anything quite like it and I miss it. To have your prayers answered in such a direct and personal way was remarkable.
I have often thought about her relationship with Christ. Her’s was not a causal discipleship. I believe that she sincerely loved the people around her, kept her life open for the Lord’s guidance, and had the courage to act immediately when prompted. He trusted her and she lived up to that trust. Her life was busy and often complicated, but with the Lord’s help, she was always there when it counted.
Can you imagine the impact we could have if we all fostered that kind of relationship with the Lord and those around us? The world encourages us to compete, tear down, and compare ourselves to others. But this leaves us tired and feeling inadequate and alone. This is not the sisterhood the Lord would have for us. His plan is to knit us together in love by ministering as He does.