Home Teaching to the End
September 2000

“Home Teaching to the End,” Liahona, Sept. 2000, 43–44

Home Teaching to the End

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 deeply the families they served, and the families came to rely on their friendship. What had started as a priesthood assignment became a great bond of love.

In his old age, my father had severe arthritis and great difficulty walking. Yet he and his companion, who by then 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.

One evening they stopped the car at the house of a sister, but my father could not get out. 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 asked the sister to come to the door and wave to my father. Although she was disabled and could not walk easily, she said, “I should say not. After all the years you two have been visiting me, this time I will walk down to the car to visit with you.”

The two of them helped each other out the door and down the steps to the car to visit my father. My father opened the door, and the three of them talked together in the twilight until it was too dark to see.

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 dedicated home teaching.