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Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 27 Feb 2017, 10:41
by squarepeg
Just wanted to share something that made me happy. I haven't read the "Ensign" in a while but I opened the February issue and noticed that the Visiting Teaching message is right after the First Presidency Message (aka HT Message), instead of deeper inside the magazine like it used to be. Maybe that's not something to get excited about, but if this is a regular thing now, it's almost like we're saying VT is as important as HT.

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 27 Feb 2017, 15:23
by Heber13
I think it is deliberate.

I see some small changes like this too...and maybe try not to get too excited for feeling like it is still too small a change...but I appreciate your example of reminding me that some progress to make things more even is better than no progress, even if I see lots more needed.

Our ward has done away with PEC. We meet as ward councils and include the sisters that lead the ward also. I see that as a deliberate change, and a good one.

Still a ways to go on many issues. But I like it.

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 27 Feb 2017, 15:36
by hawkgrrrl
I have a really hard time cobbling together a meal out of these crumbs. I like your optimism, though.

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 01 Mar 2017, 08:11
by squarepeg
hawkgrrrl wrote:I have a really hard time cobbling together a meal out of these crumbs. I like your optimism, though.
Haha! I know... I was thinking, "Baby steps..." And that maybe the Home Teaching message should be first in the magazine because Home Teachers teach the whole family whereas VTs "only" teach the women. But now I'm realizing I don't know why women can't also be home teachers. Hmm.

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 01 Mar 2017, 09:06
by Ann
It's small, but I see it as both sincere and positive. I do think the church is up against it here. To keep the baby steps analogy going, there's only so far a baby can walk if it's on one of those baby leashes. Or there's only so far a growing boy/teen/man can walk if he's tethered by a chain of sexist doctrine.

There seems to be this fear - we can't have women and men equal before God in the temple, because who knows what "they'd do" then! That's right, who knows. Why do fearful people assume it'll be bad? Maybe all these baby steps are nothing compared to the positive energy that would flow in this church if we dignified women in the temple.

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 01 Mar 2017, 09:24
by Reuben
squarepeg wrote:But now I'm realizing I don't know why women can't also be home teachers. Hmm.
FWIW, married couples can be home teachers.

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 01 Mar 2017, 11:19
by squarepeg
Reuben wrote:
FWIW, married couples can be home teachers.
Awesome, Reuben! News to me! Forget I posted anything...it seems irrelevant, now.

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 01 Mar 2017, 15:11
by Roy
I also did not know that.

I think perhaps what you mean is that a HT may take his wife to accompany him while he goes home teaching ... or do you actually mean that his wife can be assigned as his HT companion?

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 01 Mar 2017, 15:24
by DarkJedi
Roy wrote:I also did not know that.

I think perhaps what you mean is that a HT may take his wife to accompany him while he goes home teaching ... or do you actually mean that his wife can be assigned as his HT companion?
In our stake some men are sometimes assigned their wives as companions for a couple reasons. One is just the shortage of priesthood holders vs the sheer number of people to be home taught (especially in smaller branches) and another is because of male home teachers (usually high priests) assigned to single women. In some cases the woman is also the assigned visiting teacher (killing two birds with one stone). Sometimes it is a matter of concern for the safety of women assigned as visiting teachers as well. It has been this way for decades in our stake.

It has been known to happen that men also just bring their wives when their assigned companion is unable or otherwise unwilling to go.

Re: Visiting Teaching message promotion?

Posted: 02 Mar 2017, 05:24
by nibbler
Reuben wrote:FWIW, married couples can be home teachers.
Here's the official policy from handbook 2:
7.4.2 Organizing Home Teaching
With approval from the bishop in exceptional cases, Melchizedek Priesthood leaders and Relief Society leaders may assign a husband and wife as a companionship where visits by a couple are needed. Couples report these visits as home teaching and visiting teaching. Normally, young parents are not given such an assignment because it takes them away from their children.
I think there are some bishops that wouldn't care one way or the other and other bishops where getting approval for a husband/wife companionship would be like pulling teeth. Leadership roulette. I think a couple desiring to be a VT/HT companionship would have to come prepared to argue their "exceptional [case]" or why they feel "visits by a couple are needed."

In other words, while married couples can be home teachers it's the exception to the rule and thus I wouldn't bank on it... I mean, wouldn't most members (without children in the home) prefer doing visits with their spouse? Plus it counts as both HT and VT? Two birds. Once that first couple got approval all the kids would want in on the action... so the default seems to be 'no married couple companionship for you.' Just how I think things would pan out.