In times of trial, we rarely think to call someone and ask for help. In this lesson, discuss how we can be better friends and neighbors by keeping up with our friends' lives and offering assistance exactly when it's needed.
August Visiting Teaching Message:
As visiting teachers, one of our purposes is to help strengthen families and homes. The sisters we visit should be able to say, “If I have problems, I know my visiting teachers will help without waiting to be asked.” In order to serve, we have a responsibility to be conscious of the needs of the sisters we visit. When we seek inspiration, we will know how to respond to the spiritual and temporal needs of each sister we are assigned to visit. Then, using our time, skills, talents, prayers of faith, and spiritual and emotional support, we can help give compassionate service during times of illness, death, and other special circumstances.1
Through the help of reports from visiting teachers, the Relief Society presidency identifies those who have special needs because of physical or emotional illness, emergencies, births, deaths, disability, loneliness, or other challenges. The Relief Society president then reports her findings to the bishop. Under his direction, she coordinates assistance.
Supplement: read the following excerpt from Elder Ronald A. Rasband's April 2012 address, "Special Lessons":
If you come upon a person who is drowning, would you ask if they need help—or would it be better to just jump in and save them from the deepening waters? The offer, while well meaning and often given, “Let me know if I can help” is really no help at all.
We continue to learn the important value of being aware of and interested in the lives of those around us, learning not only the importance of giving help but also the overwhelming joy that comes from helping others.
Dear President Thomas S. Monson, who is such a magnificent example of lifting the downtrodden, said: “God bless all who endeavor to be their brother’s keeper, who give to ameliorate suffering, who strive with all that is good within them to make a better world. Have you noticed that such individuals have a brighter smile? Their footsteps are more certain. They have an aura about them of contentment and satisfaction … for one cannot participate in helping others without experiencing a rich blessing himself.”8