LDS Church announces end of home teaching, visiting teaching

Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announces the end of the home teaching and visiting teaching programs during general conference in Salt Lake City, Sunday, April 1, 2018 | Screenshot courtesy of LDS Church general conference broadcast, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Sunday the end of the religion’s home teaching and visiting teaching programs.

The Conference Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, date not specified | Photo by ra-photos, iStock/Getty Images, St. George News

The announcement was made by LDS president Russell M. Nelson at the Sunday afternoon session of church’s General Conference in Salt Lake City.

“We have made the decision to retire home teaching and visiting teaching as we have known them,” Nelson said over the pulpit in the Conference Center. “Instead, we will implement a newer, holier approach to caring and ministering to others. We will refer to these efforts simply as ministering.”

As part of the newly dubbed “ministering,” Nelson said assigned men from the church’s priesthood and assigned women from church Relief Society and young women programs will now “function in serving and watching over members of the church throughout the world.”

In the previous home teaching program, men and young men in the church visited families in their congregation, shared a religious message and offered service. Relief Society women visited with other women in the church as part of the now-retired visiting teaching program. Young women were not part of the old programs.

“Gratefully and prayerfully, we open this new chapter in the history of the church,” Nelson said.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, an LDS apostle, said information about the new program would be emailed to all LDS members around the world and immediately posted on ministering.lds.org. On the new website, visitors can find a video message by previous church president Thomas S. Monson, who died last year. Monson explained the purpose of the new program in the video.

In an undated video by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, late-president Thomas S. Monson explains the purpose of the new ministering program replacing the old home teaching and visiting teaching programs | Screenshot courtesy of ministering.lds.org, St. George News

“While bishops have the sacred duty to seek out and care for the poor and needy, all church leaders and members may be enlisted to help those in need,” Monson said in the undated video. “As you minister in the Lord’s way, you will bless lives, strengthen homes and increase faith.”

Some of the resources available on the ministering website offer guidance to local church leaders about dealing with topics like same-sex attraction, pornography and abuse for victims and offenders.

The new ministering program will not always take place in people’s homes or include a prepared message, Holland said.

“We will continue to visit homes as possible, but local circumstances such as large numbers, long distances, personal safety, other challenging conditions — this may preclude a visit to every home every month,” Holland said.

The April 2018 General Conference brought a number of big changes to the church, including announcing the church’s first non-white apostles and a shakeup to the priesthood quorum organization. At the end of the conference, Nelson also announced seven new temples to be built in Bengaluru, India; Managua, Nicaragua; Salta, Argentina; Layton, Utah; Richmond, Virginia, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; and a major city yet to be determined in Russia.

Read more: New Asian-American, Brazilian apostles make Mormon history

After the announcement on priesthood quorums Saturday evening, church high priests and elders will now be combined into one Melchizedek Priesthood quorum with one presidency.

Email: sricks@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

4 Comments

  • Real Life April 1, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    I know Monson is dead, but has anyone checked the pulse on the “new” one? Hold your breath.

    • PatriotLiberal April 2, 2018 at 9:46 am

      He actually looks to be in pretty good health for being 93. Religious beliefs aside, the man did some respectable work as a heart surgeon and I think he’s leading the church in a good direction.

      • Anejo April 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

        Didn’t they just refer to the recent rape allegations as ‘non-consensual immorality?’

        I’d respectfully disagree that inventing new terminology for a heinous crime is a good direction for them.

  • comments April 2, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    What’s the methodology of putting someone so old in charge. Wouldn’t you want someone that can at least be expected to be around for 10 years or so? Or at least be lucid for that long.

    I wonder if they ended the program because “no one wants to do it”. I’ve known so many people that complained that their visiting teachers never bothered to visit them. Realistically, if you don’t like someone then you’re not gonna want to go to their house, what is it, every month? Too many people just didn’t want to bother, I bet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.