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Home teaching (formerly called block teaching and ward teaching) is a responsibility of priesthood holders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Home teaching is a church program designed to allow families to be taught in their own homes, in addition to weekly church services. Typically, two holders of the priesthood, of whom at least one must be an adult, visit the home of some assigned families at least once a month. Home teaching is organized at the ward level.
Assignments and responsibilities
The elders and high priests quorum leadership have the responsibility of assigning home teaching companionships and the families assigned to those companionship. All assignments are approved by the bishop or branch president.
A companionship usually consists of two priesthood holders. In special situations, a companionship may consist of a Melchizedek priesthood holder and his wife. Generally, members of the elders quorum are assigned as companions with other elders quorum members and high priests are assigned with other high priests. Additionally, members of the teachers and priests quorums are assigned as home teachers with either an elder or high priest companion. There may also be situations where a high priest is a companion with an elder.
The bishop assigns every member household in his congregation to either the elders quorum or high priest quorum. The leadership of the respective quorums assign companionships to home teach these households assigned to their quorums. The number of households assigned to a companionship may vary. Companionships are responsible for visiting each of their assigned families at least once per month. Home teachers are instructed to share a lesson or spiritual thought, usually taken from the First Presidency message in the Ensign or Liahona magazines. Home teachers are also instructed to consult with the heads of the household about spiritual and temporal needs of the household. Home teachers report on their visits to the quorum leaders that assigned them. Visits usually include collective prayer.
- Anderson, Rex A. (August 1974). A Documentary History of the Lord's Way of Watching Over the Church By the Priesthood Through the Ages. Master's thesis. Provo, Utah: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University.
- Boss, R. Wayne (1992). "Home Teaching". In Daniel H. Ludlow. Encyclopedia of Mormonism 2. New York: Macmillan. pp. 654–55.
- Hartley, William G. (Spring 1976). "Ordained and Acting Teachers in the Lesser Priesthood, 1851-1883". BYU Studies 16 (3): 375–98.
- Hartley, William G. (2000). "Home Teaching". In Garr, Arnold K.; Cannon, Donald Q.; Cowan, Richard O.. Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book. pp. 508–09.
- Israelsen, Vernon L. (1975). Changes in the Numbers and the Priesthood Affiliation of the Men Used as Ward Teachers in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1908-1922. Master's thesis. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University.
- Phelps, Gary L. (August 1975). Home Teaching—Attempts By the Latter-day Saints to Establish an Effective Program During the Nineteenth Century. Master's thesis. Provo, Utah: Department of History, Brigham Young University.
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