June 2016 Visiting Teaching: Temple Ordinances and Covenants

typeNormally when I do the Exponent visiting teaching posts, I try to think of ways that make the message applicable to the women I visit teach. At the moment, the two women assigned to me are polar opposites: one is a mother of eight, and the wife of a high-ranking area church leader, and the other is married to a non-member, and is a “less active” woman, whom I have never met. All of us are a good 10 hour drive from the nearest temple, and I am not sure all of us have even been to the temple. Plus, I am a three hour drive from where they live and the branch), so I am in an odd position so far as typical visiting teaching goes.


So what do I do when the message is about temples, and I am in an area and teaching string-balloons-on-pinterest-400x789women that just… it seems …. inapplicable due to various circumstances that each of us are in? I focus on food. But more on that later.

I generally do my visiting teaching by mail. It would be too expensive and impractical for me to
make a Pintrest-inspired kitschy items that is somehow related the the message (plus, knowing me and my under-pressure skill set, it would end up in a “nailed it” photo anyway.) This mail message isn’t exciting, and it’s not in person. However, I prefer this to texting, facebook or email alone. I still do all of those things, but once a month, I print the visiting teaching message on a piece of cardstock; it is sized like a large postcard and has spaces for an address and a stamp (like this). I choose images and coloured paper that seems to fit the season. Sometimes I add stickers, and I sign my name– sometimes with a short, personal note. Mostly, I keep it short and sweet.



VT vardAnd I add a recipe. Or two! I like to cook. I like trying new things, and I have fun with it. Sometimes I find a recipe and I love it, so share it on the my visiting teaching postcard, other times I am hungry from something, but can’t find a recipe. So I make a recipe up. That is what I did this month. It is autumn in Queensland, which means it has only been 20-28 C (68-82 F). This is cold weather for me;  so I want comfort food. I love berries, and have had a hankering for lemon. The result? Self-Saucing Lemon Berry pudding.


(Never had a self-saucing pudding? Think of cake with ganache, served like an upside down cake. The “ganache” (sauce) sinks to the bottom of the “cake”/pudding (proper English pudding, thank you!) whilst baking and helps steam the pudding into a delicate delight. Spoon it out, so the sauce that has sunk to the bottom drips down the sides of the pudding. Add some fresh cream or ice cream and you’re set!)


So…. what I am saying is… this is not the best or most inspirational visiting teaching post in the world. But it is a nice recipe. Because sometimes, its okay to bread bread, have a snack and just chat. Or… in odd situations, mail the formal message with one of the most fun recipes you’ve discovered.


(Photo coming soon of the pudding)

Self-Saucing Lemon-Berry Pudding

  • 12 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 medium lemons (zest & juice)
  • 12 cups flour
  • 12 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) (I used blueberries because that is all I had in my freezer. I think this would be fabulous with strawberries)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 12 cup berry jam
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar


Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F

Lightly coat a 6 cup-capacity, deep ceramic (Corningwear) baking dish with butter.

Unbaked Pudding Pastry Sans Sauce

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add zest of 1 lemon, eggs, and milk and mix well. Over the top, sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the blueberries. Gently stir all by hand until just combined. (The batter will be stiff)

Pour into the prepared deep baking dish.

Pour the sauce over the back of a spoon as to not disturb the batter in the baking dish.

Pour the sauce over the back of a spoon as to not disturb the batter in the baking dish.



In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice and boiling water to make 1 ½ cups (add more water if needed). Stir in the sugar, jam and zest of 1 lemon until the sugar is dissolved. Gently pour the sauce over the pudding as to not displace the batter.



Bake for 40 mins or until the pudding is cooked through.

Serve warm from the oven by spooning into dessert bowls with a side of cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.

pudding complete

What is your favourite fall-back plan for visiting teaching when you don’t have time or ability to have a proper in-person visit? What is your favourite share recipe? 


Spunky lives in Queensland, Australia. She loves travel and aims to visit as many church branches and wards in the world as possible.

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3 Responses

  1. Moss says:

    My relationship with the temple is so complicated right now I sincerely hope my lovely VTs bring me a recipe or even better some cake. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Emily U says:

    I’m going visiting teaching tonight and turned to your post for help. You affirmed my instincts to turn to another topic! It’s my first visit with this woman whom I know not at all, and the temple is too personal and complicated for a first visit.

    We are bringing her dinner, since she’s on bed rest from an injury, and will just use the time to try and get to know her.

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