1979
Home Teaching Lessons for New Members
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“Home Teaching Lessons for New Members,” Ensign, Apr. 1979, 72

Home Teaching Lessons for New Members

“Those who become converted and baptized,” said President Spencer W. Kimball, “should immediately have home teachers assigned who will fellowship them with personal concern. … We should help new converts to establish social relationships with the members of the Church, so they will not feel alone as they begin life as active Latter-day Saints.” (Member Activation, filmstrip for 1978 regional meetings.)

Home teachers can now be more effective than ever in their efforts to help new converts make the transition to the Latter-day Saint life-style. Home Teaching Lessons for New Members, a series of six short lessons to be taught within two months after the convert is baptized, provide answers to questions about the Church that may arise in the minds of new members.

The first lesson, taught jointly by the missionaries and the home teachers, briefly explains ward organization and the roles of bishops, quorum leaders, and home teachers. New members are shown that missionaries and home teachers have different purposes: missionaries work primarily with nonmembers; home teachers work closely with members. The home teachers then present a “welcome packet” to the convert: a Gospel Principles manual, a ward or branch directory, and a schedule of meetings.

Lesson two reviews the eternal nature of the family, the role of father and mother, family prayer, family scripture study, and family home evening. The home teachers give new members a copy of the current Family Home Evening manual and invite them to attend a home evening.

In lesson three, the home teachers explain that “living the gospel is a way of life that affects all of [our] thoughts and actions.” They discuss personal histories and journals, the Sabbath, financial contributions, moral standards, honesty, and kindness.

Lesson four deals with receiving Church callings as well as serving the Lord by being missionaries and good citizens in the community.

Resources of the Church are explained in the fifth lesson: the Church Educational System, publications, meetinghouse libraries, and Welfare Services (including employment services, LDS Social Services, bishops’ storehouse system, and Deseret Industries).

In the sixth lesson, the home teachers discuss with the converts the six areas of personal and family preparedness, explaining that “blessings come from regular, step-by-step application of these principles.”

In the introduction to the new lessons, home teachers are advised to teach “with a spirit of warmth [and] friendliness,” because the relationship they develop with new members “is as important as the information in the lessons.”

Indeed, more than just providing information, the lessons help home teachers develop the kind of relationship that will sustain new members as the missionaries move on to teach others.