I edit the “Sisters Speak” column for The Exponent magazine. It’s fascinating seeing all the varied and diverse responses from different Mormon women, whether active, inactive, or ex-Mormon. This past question was about Visiting Teaching and how women make it work for themselves and those they teach. It was a “hot button” issue in the sense that the question definitely touched a nerve and got a great many people thinking and talking. I received a large array of responses of both the good and bad, even after I submitted my column! As someone who has opted out of Visiting Teaching myself, I enjoyed reading about both the successes and failures of the program. Because of how strongly people felt about the topic and because I (regretfully) didn’t open up the question on the blog*, and because I want to hear more (as most likely, do others), I want to open up the discussion here:
“Visiting teaching has the potential for so much goodness. Learning love for our church sisters, serving one another, and being physically present with others are all beautiful possibilities of the program. However, too often visiting teaching feels guilt-inducing, burdensome, fake, or superficial.
How do you make visiting teaching work for you? Do you visit the old-fashioned way, with a companion going to a sister’s home? Do you like receiving visits like that? Do you meet in groups or send an email? Have there been any times visiting teaching has failed you or been truly inspirational? If you’re not currently active in the church, do you still like playing a role in the visiting teaching program? What messages would you like to hear?”
And my own additional question: What would feminist Visiting Teaching look like, both within the Mormon and non-Mormon community? I love the idea, but am curious as to how it would play out in the real world!
*I have been soliciting answers via social media, as it’s convenient for both those who respond and myself as the collector of responses, but I realize I do a disservice to the Exponent community by not putting the question up here on the blog; I apologize, and going forward will go back to also gathering responses here on the blog, as well.