There’s an African saying that says, “It takes a whole village to raise a child”. Reflecting upon the many wonderful blessings I have in my village life this Sabbath day, I feel it a privilege to minister to and be ministered by others. Today, my heart became especially full when I visited with our newest neighbors around the corner as well as another neighbor who lost their teenage son to an automobile accident early this morning. The capstone of the day was receiving my own visitors, commonly known in our religious culture as Home Teachers. I would like to express how, as disciples of Jesus Christ, our heartfelt thanks for His life and mission is best expressed when we spend a portion of our precious time ministering in our own villages.
I have the most amazing Home Teachers. The way they minister to my family is outstanding; like when our power went out for several hours and they called to make sure we were alright and if we needed anything. The way they are able share spiritual messages and tie them into their many life’s experiences is so enthralling and, at times, I feel like I’m a little girl enraptured by every story. Visiting and receiving visitors may seem archaic and a dull-drum thing to do, but through my experience as a missionary who spent 18 months visiting people each and every day, it is a highlight in my life. My mom reminds me that after I returned home from Honduras, I would set-up appointments and ask her to accompany me on visits to all the widows in our neighborhood.
While I was in Ireland, my dear friend had brought copies of The Family Proclamation to share when we went about meeting people, which, let me tell you, was a really hard thing to do-not! This inspired and timely document was introduced in a general Relief Society meeting on September 23, 1995 by President Gordon B. Hinckley. In this document from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, it declares to the world the Lord’s standards and doctrines concerning the family. The proclamation also provides counsel for strengthening families and a warning about the consequences of the disintegration of families. DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS AND CHURCH HISTORY SEMINARY TEACHER MANUAL LESSON 159: A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD…
The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. The plea of our prophet is that we maintain and uphold the traditional family in our societies. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
I know personally that when we share times of joy, sadness, loss of life or new life with those in our village, it brings so much comfort and solace to the soul and it has a way of strengthening our own families as well as other families around us. The irony behind these, expressed blessings today, was how much opposition my family experienced before we set out on our visits with these people in our neighborhood. Though it is a challenge to get out of our “comfort” zones, we truly are so blessed when we minister to our own village people. Matthew 22: 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. The First Great Commandment