Young Men Lesson 45: Effective Home Teaching

In much of the world, we are entering upon unsettled economic times. Let us look after one another the very best we can. I remember the story of a Vietnamese family that fled Saigon in 1975 and ended up living in a small mobile home in Provo, Utah. A young man in the refugee family became the home teaching companion to a Brother Johnson who lived nearby with his large family. The boy related the following:

“One day Brother Johnson noticed that our family had no kitchen table. He appeared the next day with an odd-looking but very functional table that fit nicely against the trailer wall across from the kitchen sink and counters. I say odd-looking because two of the table legs matched the tabletop and two did not. Also, several small wooden pegs stuck out along one edge of the worn surface.

“Soon we used this unique table daily for food preparation and for eating some quick meals. We still ate our family meals while we sat on the floor … in true Vietnamese fashion.

“One evening I stood inside Brother Johnson’s front door as I waited for him before a home teaching appointment. There in the nearby kitchen—I was surprised to see it—was a table practically identical to the one they had given to my family. The only difference was that where our table had pegs, the Johnsons’ table had holes! I then realized that, seeing our need, this charitable man had cut his kitchen table in half and had built two new legs for each half.

“It was obvious that the Johnson family could not fit around this small piece of furniture—they probably didn’t fit comfortably around it when it was whole. …

“Throughout my life this kind act has been a powerful reminder of true giving” (Son Quang Le, as told to Beth Ellis Le, “Two-of-a-Kind Table,” Liahona, July 2004, 45; Ensign, July 2004, 63).

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 186). In our families and in our stakes and districts, let us seek to build up Zion through unity, godliness, and charity, preparing for that great day when Zion, the New Jerusalem, will arise. In the words of our hymn:

Israel, Israel, God is calling, 

Calling thee from lands of woe. 

Babylon the great is falling; 

God shall all her tow’rs o’erthrow. …

Come to Zion, come to Zion, 

And within her walls rejoice. … 

Come to Zion, come to Zion, 

For your coming Lord is nigh. 

(“Israel, Israel, God Is Calling,” Hymns, no. 7)
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