"We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel," Article of Faith 3.
Covenants made during the ordinance of baptism include always remembering Him, taking His name upon me, and keeping His commandments. One way to keep these covenants is to bear one another's burdens that they be light, Galatians 6:2 and Mosiah 18:8. Another is to reach out in fellowship, 1 John 1:3. In the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we take these commandment literally and seriously.
Each month the sisters of the church go two by two to visit assigned sisters. I visit three such assigned sisters. When taken seriously as an assignment from Jesus himself, the program works miracles. Sometimes women are too shy to tell about their trials and needs. Sometimes others are lonely, sad, depressed, or struggling in other invisible ways. Visiting at least monthly, the sisters grow to know each other intimately instead of the more casual relations developed attending church and other meetings. During these visits, we talk about our lives, discuss gospel principles, and discover possible needs. I've been a visiting teacher continuously for 32 years and love it.
Today, I'll visit three women to discuss ideas I learned while studying Bonnie Oscarson's sermon, Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other. Not only does visiting teaching help the sisters visited, it helps the visiting ones, too. Specifically, it helps me be less of a hermit and less lonely. As a little girl, I accompanied my mother on visits to relatives and friends all the time. Although this is a bit different, it gives me a much needed social outlet. Finally, visiting teaching allows me to keep my covenants and participate in the work of building up the kingdom of God.
“…we all have burdens to bear and burdens to share. An invitation to bear one another’s burdens is an invitation to keep our covenants,” Linda K. Burton.
“When you love, watch over, and serve others in small and simple ways, you are actively participating in the work of salvation, God’s work, “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man,” Carole M. Stephens.