HOW TO USE THIS BLOG: Since this blog covers various Ward Mission subjects, I've made it easier to find exactly what you're looking for by grouping posts together by topic. On the right side of this page (above the photo of the shaking hands), you'll find the list of topics you can click on to find the information you're looking for

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Member Discussions & HT/VT

The following is the text for a sheet we include in the "Welcome to the Ward" packet we give to new converts. There was some recent confusion among new members in our Ward about the difference between Home Teaching/Visiting Teaching and the New Member Discussions, so we thought it would be helpful to include all of this information for the new member's reference. Please feel free to use any of this text in your own "Welcome Packet"!:

"New-Member Discussions"
When you're first learning about the Church, the full-time missionaries (the Elders) present a series of lessons called "The Discussions". These "Discussions" cover the basic gospel beliefs that you need to know to prepare for baptism. Completing the series of "Discussions" is required for anyone who wants to be baptized and become a member of the Lord's Church.

After your baptism, "Ward missionaries" will begin visiting your family and teaching a series of presentations called the "New Member Discussions". Ward missionaries are local Ward members who have been asked to serve in a "calling" as Ward missionaries (they help the Elders find and teach people, teach the Gospel Essentials Sunday School class, and help new members to get to know people, etc)

The "New Member Discussions" are normally taught once a month or so. There are a series of these 5 presentations altogether. These discussions explain how we can apply gospel principles in our daily lives as members of the Church. We get into more detail about topics like serving in Church callings, how the Priesthood blesses our lives, ways to strengthen families, and preparing to attend the temple.

You will be contacted soon by (insert names of Ward missionaries here) (who are currently serving as Ward missionaries in our Ward) to set up an appointment for your first "New Member Discussion". If you have any questions, please let any of us know!

"Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching"
You will also be contacted by Home Teachers (and possibly Visiting Teachers) from the Ward who will arrange times to visit your home. The Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching programs are some ways that help us keep our baptismal covenant to "comfort those who stand in need of comfort" and "bear one another's burdens":

"Home Teaching": is a worldwide program of the Church. Men are organized (by the Elders Quorum) into pairs and assigned to visit several specific families on a monthly basis. Home Teachers give a short gospel-related message and get to know the family. If there is any need or urgent situation within the family, they can contact their Home Teachers for help. Every household is assigned a set of Home Teachers and generally every man serves as a Home Teacher. If you have been baptized and aren't sure who you family's Home Teachers are yet, you can contact the Elders Quorum President (insert name of EQ President here).

"Visiting Teaching": is a worldwide program of the Relief Society (the Church's womens organization). Its purpose is to help women serve one another, develop friendships, and to provide support to one another. Women are assigned (by the Relief Society) as pairs and assigned to visit several women in the Ward on a monthly basis. (Home teachers visit the entire family, Visiting Teachers are women visiting other women. A family with an adult woman will have both Home Teachers and Visiting Teachers, with two separate visits). Visiting Teachers share a short gospel message and get to know the women that they visit. If the woman being visited has a specific need, she can let her Visiting Teachers know. Every woman is assigned a set of Visiting Teachers and in general, every woman serves as a Visiting Teacher. If you're a woman whose been baptized and you're not sure who your Visiting Teachers are yet, you can contact the Relief Society President (insert name of RS President here).

For more information on our "Welcome to the Ward" Packets for new converts and what is included, see the topic section labeled "WELCOME PACKET" on the right side of this page, above the picture of people shaking hands.

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