After talking to a good friend of mine today I decided that we as human beings really are lazy and full of excuses. It is in our communities and it is in our church. The conversation today was about visiting teaching.
For those of you who are not Mormon, visiting teaching is a big part of the women's organization called Relief Society at the Church. It is one way that we learn to love and serve others and it is how the Lord, through His Church, makes sure that all of his flock are taken care of. If you are willing to be a visiting teacher, you are assigned both a partner and usually 2 or 3 other women in the congregation to visit and you are charged with checking in with those sisters and helping to meet their needs every month. The fruits of your visits are then reported at the end of the month to the Relief Society president who can organize more help to those who may need it. Companionships and assignments are often long thought about and prayed about before they are given.
Now I know that I am going to offend some people here but just let me rant. I know that I don't know everyone's circumstances and that there really may be some legitimate excuses. I also know that I am in no way perfect or an expert. I also need to note that my rant is in no way aimed at anyone. So this is just my from my perspective and you can take it or leave it. I used to be the visiting teaching coordinator in our ward and I didn't see too much going on but I am hearing more and more lately about women just complaining and making excuses for not doing doing their visiting teaching because of who they have been partnered with or the ladies that they are assigned to. Really? Are we in high school again?
First of all, you were asked and have accepted the responsibility to be a visiting teacher. If you don't want to do it, then don't say you will. You do have a choice.
Once you've accepted then you have to put a little faith in the Lord. Like I said: It is something that has been prayed about and a lot of work and thought has gone into the assignments.
"But, when I call they never answer!" SO WHAT!?! If it's your companion, then check in with your sisters on your own. That's no excuse for you to not take action yourself. If it's the sisters you've been assigned to, show up without calling, send them a note, "friend" them on Facebook, simply smile or say hi or sit next to them at church. That is ALL you really have to do. It doesn't have to be a long, organized, quiet visit to their house. You are not called to make a visit, you are called to get to know them, take care of them and serve them.
"But, we don't get along at all!" SO WHAT!?! Did you ever think that maybe there was something that you needed to learn from that person? Maybe it is something that they needed to learn from you? Are we really so narrow minded that we will only visit and take care of the people that are cool or are our friends? Are we really so lazy that we won't step outside our comfort zones, become pliable and allow the Lord to mold us into the person He would have us be If we can't do it within our own congregation then how will we ever be able do it for those more needy that aren't.
I have gotten to learn this first hand. I got a visiting teaching companion that I swore did not like me and would never work as my companion but as I have gotten to know her and serve with her and be served by her I have gained a real friend. It just took a little bit of stretching me beyond where I was comfortable. I also have been assigned to serve sisters that I thought didn't like me and have come to learn to be more open minded to the fact that maybe their personality is just different. Regardless of how different we are I can still love them. The Lord has helped me learn many great life lessons just through visiting teaching.
From The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:19 says:
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
So I say, "Suck it up people." Serving Christ is not about only doing what is easy or convenient for you. If your goal is to become more like Christ then we need to put off those "natrual man" tendencies to be lazy and full of excuses. We need to be "willing to submit to all things" including our visiting teaching assignments. I know that as we do we can truly learn to feel the love of Christ. So maybe if we don't think about it as a call to visit a particular person but a call to serve Him we will be less inclined to come up with so many lame excuses.
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.- Mosiah 2:17