Sunday, August 23, 2009

Angels In the Outfield-Visiting Teaching Conference

We are all on a team, our “Relief Society” team. Our position on that team is to nurture, encourage, uplift, and bear one anther's burdens, to emulate the Savior. When we are offering that relief to others we become a member of a different team, the “Angels” team as we partner up with angels from the other side, just like we saw in the clip from from the “Angels in the Outfield” movie.

How do we know who needs our help? We follow the example of the young boy in the movie and pray for help. Sister Beck challenged us to pray for the gift to be “quick to observe”. If we are sincere in our request – the Lord will let us know what to do. In our Visiting Teaching conference today we really didn't talk about visiting teaching because the heart and soul of visiting teaching is charity. Look at our team scoreboard – our stats are high. The sisters in our ward are doing an amazing job of fulfilling their roles as visiting teachers and as a result our ward is blessed. One of the purposes of the this conference is to motivate us to do even better. Statistics give us a good guideline as to how we are doing but they don’t really tell us if we are truly ministering to our sisters.

Sister Beck gave us a story of 2 sisters who faithfully did their V.T. early every month. They made their appointments early in the month and even prayed before they went out. One time they went to visit a sister whose husband was ill. As they visited the baby was crying downstairs and the husband was unable to help. Amidst all the commotion they shared a well prepared message. Then as they left they said, “if there is anything we can do to help let us know” as they left behind a kitchen full of dirty dishes and a sister who was feeling a little overwhelmed. They completely missed the point of the visit – they weren’t quick to observe. It was easier to leave their sister in the outfield than to help her.

Let’s make sure as we visit teach we are not just filling a statistic. Let’s be aware our sisters in Relief Society who are struggling. Let’s step up our efforts to help them, remember them as we visit teach them, and pray for them individually in our prayers. If we see someone sitting by themselves let’s get up and go sit by them or invite them to sit by us. If there’s not seat let’s at least acknowledge them, touch them on shoulder, smile at them, and talk to them. Let’s look for anyone new or visiting and shake their hand as we introduce our self. Let’s invite them over for dinner or family night or a walk. Let’s call them to see if they want a ride to enrichment or church.

Let’s take a different approach to planning our month. Instead of allowing the busy-ness of life decide for us when we can fit in our visiting teaching, fellowshipping, service, and friendshipping, let’s schedule first those things that are important. We will find we still have time to take care of all the small things that seem to consume our time.

As we visit teach we are "earthly" angels. As we extend ourselves, even if it’s hard, and personally reach out to our sisters, Joseph Smith promised us that: "angels cannot be restrain’d from being our associates"…. ”they will be round about us to bear us up”. D&C 84:88 By Linn Evans

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