February 2012 Visiting Teaching Message

This month, the visiting teaching message is Guardians of the Hearth.

I am not the kind of woman to remember to make cute little visiting teaching handouts. I used to do that. Maybe I will again. I feel excited when I go out to do it, let alone make a hand-out! However, I do try to prayerfully consider the message before going into the homes of the sisters I visit teach.

When I read the visiting teaching message, I was touched by the quote by President Hinckley:

“You are the guardians of the hearth,… You are the bearers of the children. You are they who nurture them and establish within them the habits of their lives. No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

I love getting these reminders.

I am a mother of four. Two are in school. The other two are still at home and are very young. Between the two sets of kids, I was divorced and remarried. While I was divorced, I worked and juggled the role of mother. It was hard.

I remember that a woman I worked with (a superior) was kind of trying to help “mentor” me. I was very flattered. It gave me confidence. In a life where everything seemed to be going wrong, there was something I was doing right. She kept pushing me to be more ambitious, and I wanted to accept, but I couldn’t. She finally said to me, “I have to admit, I thought you were more ambitious. If you were, you’d really go places.” I’m not sure what that was supposed to do for me, I just felt defeated.

That declaration she made to me has haunted me for years. It hasn’t stopped me from doing what I know is right, but it has made me question myself as I’ve proceeded, especially when I got married and chose to stay at home with my children.

Finally, I came to realize that I’m not a lazy woman. I’m not hopeless without ambition. I am not “wasting” my college education. In fact, I’m a dreamer – big time. I have ambitions: eternal ambitions. I believe that what I’m doing now, including what I’m giving up now is helping Heavenly Father in His work. I believe President Hinkcley when he says that, “No other work reaches so close to divinity as does the nurturing of the sons and daughters of God.”

So – I loved this message. It is a good reminder.

I also noticed something – in the history of the church – how a part of the function of Relief Society is to help teach and strengthen women in the ways that they are weak. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of that before. It kind of gives new meaning to Relief Society activities. I am currently serving in the Young Women, so I don’t have much of a say in what the Relief Society does. We meet monthly for activities. And it is interesting to note that we should be feeling educated in ways that we are lacking. I love that idea.

I’m also aware of the fact that I should probably do more to help educate and seek education from my sisters in the Relief Society. We are the guardians of the hearth. This is important work. Especially now, as we raise our children in “enemy-occupied territory,” (Russell M. Nelson) we need to be educated and strong.

What did you like about this month’s message? What are you doing to strengthen your family? How are you helping to strengthen your sisters?


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