Sunday, August 3, 2014

Home Teaching, An Inspired Text Message

One good story begets another, and this post's guest blogger is a daughter-in-law who described an experience our son, Joe, had with a home teaching family a few months ago. I had intended to post it when I received it, but never got to it until today.

I am grateful to Toni for sharing this experience they had recently with a family Joe home teaches. I thought about how the Lord is able to magnify "small and simple things" as we extend ourselves in service to those who need us. I hope it provides as much inspiration for you as it did for me. I've changed the names except for our family members.


I know Joe has contacted you for information about one of the families he home teaches where the father has been excommunicated. I wanted to share a story with you that happened between them this week.

Joe is such a dedicated home teacher. His care and concern is unmatched. I am thankful for the example that you have been to him in this regard. I am thankful for the example he is to my family. We pray together for his families and talk about different things that will help them.

Joe has always been given part-member, in-active, and struggling families. He takes the responsibility very seriously to impart the Spirit, share the gospel, and invite the families to make changes.

He gives Rick weekly reading assignments and checks in with him on his progress. At his last visit he invited him to prepare for his re-baptism and to meet with the Bishop to determine what he needed to still do as part of the repentance process. He accepted. (Rick has been very concerned that he "know" more of the scriptures before he is re-baptized.)

This Sunday, Joe had been praying and studying and decided to assign an excerpt from the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 109. He sent the assignment via text message.

Rick started reading his assignment during Church and responded to Joe's text that verse 42 had struck him like no verse ever had before, he couldn't hold back his tears, and that he was going to visit with the Bishop right after Church.

Joe was thrilled, but didn't remember verse 42 being one that he had highlighted or thought would be moving.  He commented as much to me and we read it together. Joe said, "Well, you never know what will affect the reader." But we were so pleased with the result.

This Tuesday he went for a visit to Rick's home. Joe said, "So, verse 42, huh?" and started to read it. Rick said, "No, that is not the verse." Joe said, "Yeah, I gave you Section 109."  Rick said, "You gave me Section 93." He pulled out his phone and showed Joe. He had, indeed, sent Section 93 instead of 109. Verse 42 reads, "You have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction." Rick was being told why he felt conflict in his heart about the Church and his life, and he understood.

We are so thankful for the Spirit that helps us as we serve others by performing miracles, and softening hearts. What may have looked like a mistake by Joe, was really God working through him, speaking to one of His lost sheep.

We are thrilled for this family of seven that will soon all be reborn in the covenant again, worthy of all the blessings of a temple sealing. Sunday, Rick's, his wife's, their children's and our family's prayers were all answered by a simple text message.

I love you,


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