“Home Teaching to the End,” Ensign, June 2000, 49
Often our Church assignments place us in ideal situations for developing charity toward others. My father had the same home teaching assignments and the same companion for many years. He and his companion grew to love their families deeply, and the families came to rely on their friendship, especially as they grew older, their children moved away, and in some cases they lost spouses. What had started as priesthood assignments became great bonds between them, so strong that none of the people involved would ever think of breaking them.
In his old age, my father had severe arthritis and had difficulty walking. Yet he and his companion, who by now had trouble seeing and could no longer drive, still got together to visit their old friends. The companions would joke that the two of them combined made up a whole person. My father drove and made the phone calls; his companion helped everyone when a more steady step was required.
As my mother relates, one evening they stopped the car at the house of a sister, but my father could not get out onto the curb or make the climb up the steps to her front door. He said to his companion, “Why don’t you walk up and have her come out to the door, and then I can wave to her.”
His companion slowly made his way up the steps and told the sister to come to the door and wave to my father. Although she was disabled and could not easily leave her house or walk, she said, “I should say not. After all the years that you two have been visiting me, I will walk down to the car this time to visit with you.”
The two of them helped each other out the door and down the steps to the side of the car to visit my father. My father opened the back door of the car, and together the three of them talked in the twilight until it was too dark to see. The three of them loved each other because of so many years of giving aid and also receiving it. That was the last time my father and his companion went home teaching. By the next month my father had died, followed shortly by his companion and then that sister.
As my father committed himself to serving others, befriending them, respecting them, and staying with them literally to the end, he provided me with a wonderful example of how charity develops through home teaching.—Malcolm W. Watson, Weston First Ward, Boston Massachusetts Stake