Home teaching is a rare opportunity to serve and love our neighbors in intimate environments. Although I don’t make it out every month, it is a program I love and cherish. Serving in the midst of our brothers and sisters is a reflection of Jesus’ own ministry where he was often found teaching and healing among his people and not from an office building afar off. For me, the most notable example of his being in the midst of his people was his appearance to the Nephites,
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them..
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the alight and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the dwill of the Father in all things from the beginning.
12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.
13 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:
14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole dearth, and have been slain for the sins of the world. (3 Nephi 11)
The son of God placed himself in the midst of his people. So close was he to them that they could reach out and touch him. This was a pattern established during his mortal ministry. He was frequently among and in the midst of his people.
Close proximity to those we serve often provides the fertile soil from which charity blossoms. If those we serve are close enough to touch the hem of our garment, we are in a position to extend the pure love of Christ. Virtue flows much easier from the right hand of fellowship than it can from the impersonal well wishes of a distant voice. Shouting kind words from our front porches does not have the same effect as a whispered prayer amongst brothers and sisters. Admittedly, the ministry of a home teacher often takes shape in the form of moving boxes, casseroles, and hurried visits, however, on rare occasions I am placed in situations where my discipleship is enlarged in such a way that that my capacity to love is increased. Talk of Church History or doctrine is intentionally shunned in favor of the “weightier matters of the law.” We talk of life within the context of pain, suffering, heartache, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and charity. Home teaching provides opportunities to love our neighbor in such close proximity that hugs and handshakes are easily exchanged. Christianity is for me best performed in the midst.