Dear Brother Cahoon,
Our home teachers in our ward are also our friends. Lately for some reasons unknown to us, this nice couple has been inactive for several months and we do not see them nor do they call us much anymore. This is a delicate situation. The wife was just recently appointed my visiting teacher last month, but aside from our all having dinner together once last month, I have not seen her. She has not shown up in church for over 6 months. Any suggestions? Could my husband and I extend our love somehow to them? Or what?
Can you extend your love to them? Absolutely! I submit to you that you already do, probably in ways that you aren’t even aware of, nor may never become aware of, but that make a huge difference in the lives of your friends.
I purposely began this column with the ending. The above paragraph is what I wanted to say at the end, but it is so critical that I chose to put it at the beginning instead.
I, too, have friends who live just down the street from my family, good friends whom for whatever reason have decided to stop attending church. It hurts, and I’m confused and don’t know what to do or to say to bring them back into activity. But what I can do is be their friend, regardless of their Church activity. We can still barbecue together, attend school sports events together, I can fix their computer for them (and have him fix my plumbing!), and a host of other things that will allow us to continue our friendship. A friendship that is very important to me, and my family, too, since my oldest son and their oldest son are friends as well, and my friend’s wife teaches dance lessons to my daughter. If you have a family and they do, too, and if it is possible to involve the children, by all means do so. A child will lead us many times to do the right thing at the right time and in the right way.
I am reminded of a verse of scripture from the 1st Epistle of Timothy:
“…but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
If you feel comfortable in talking with your friend whom is now your visiting teacher, that is probably the best place to start. Just ask. “I miss you and your family at church, is there anything I can do?” Extend your love, reach out and embrace, and bring them back.
Posted by John in Ask Brother Cahoon