You and Your Home Teacher

“You and Your Home Teacher,” New Era, Oct. 1971, 23

You and Your Home Teacher

Recently, two Latter-day Saint boys were walking along a street in a city they were visiting.

“Hey, Brother Schmidt,” called out one of the boys to a man who was coming down the sidewalk toward them. “What are you doing here?”

With obvious pleasure the two greeted each other. The other boy was introduced but wasn’t too much a part of their conversation. As he watched, it was obvious that these two persons really cared for each other. After a few minutes and a warm good-bye, the man went on his way.

The other boy asked, “Is he your bishop?”

“No,” said the first boy. “He’s my home teacher.”

Well, what about you and your home teacher? Do you really know each other? Do you know him? And if you don’t, whose fault is it—yours? his? both?

We all know that some people—and some home teachers—have a manner that lets people know that they really care. Other kinds of home teachers care but don’t show it so obviously. And still others care but don’t dare to let it show at all.

Now then, what about your side of the coin? All of us know down deep that unless we are willing, we can keep anyone from becoming our friend, from helping us.

Sadly, some youths refuse a home teacher entry into their lives by the subtle messages that they send saying “Stay out.”

You send that kind of message if you display no enthusiasm regarding your home teachers’ visits.

You send that kind of message if you see your home teachers at church or elsewhere and make no special effort to shake their hands.

You send that kind of message if you don’t ask their counsel on matters with which they could help—perhaps a church talk or an issue or problem that concerns you.

You send that kind of message if you don’t call upon them when a priesthood administration is needed and when assistance outside the family is needed.

You send that kind of message by doing or not doing many things that only you know about.

Unfortunately, people who leave home teachers out of their lives are ignoring one of the most important links in Church government. Your home teachers are the Lord’s agents to you—they represent the bishop as well as the Church.

Home teachers are called and set apart to bless and help members of the Church, and because of that, the Lord will cause them to be able to help. That’s the key point. You may not think that they can help, but if you’ll give them a chance, if you’ll let them come into your lives, you will not only be strengthening your own personal links with Church government, but you will also be strengthening your home teachers. And don’t you have a responsibility to do that?

If you don’t know who your home teachers are, ask your bishop or branch president immediately. Then put their names, addresses, and telephone numbers on your bulletin board and in your purse or wallet.

If you will let them, these two persons can bless your lives more than you’ve ever realized, and you will gain two real friends. And I have never met anyone who didn’t need two more real, genuine friends.