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I'm a terrible home teacher, give me 4 more families

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As I write this, it’s only Feb. 16 and I’ve already done half my home teaching for the month.

I know.

I’m as astonished as you are.

I took one of the widows I home teach to a Presidents Day dinner. Yesterday, I waved hello to the couple on the corner who’d prefer my shadow didn’t darken their door.

I’m on a roll.

The thing is, when it comes to home teaching, I’m usually the guy they make jokes about.

I’m the guy who doesn’t home teach in October or December because I feel funny showing up at people’s houses on Halloween and New Year’s Eve.

I’m the guy who does his home teaching at midnight on the last day of the month so he can count visits for two months.

Personally, I see home teaching as what’s left of the early attempts by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to live the law of Zion. Instead of being one in heart, however, these days we just try to check in on each other now and then. And most of us can’t even do that.

I know. It’s my fault for missing the spirit of the thing.

And, yes, it’s my fault for thinking that because I was never set apart to be a home teacher, I can put home teaching on the buffet table with things like singing in the choir, doing family history and other pick-and-choose items.

What’s more, unlike teaching Primary or shoveling the church walks, if I don’t do my home teaching nobody else gets visibly hung out to dry. The guilt is minimal.

I need an attitude adjustment.

I need to take my visits more seriously.

So, Bishop Smith, call me, set me apart, give me four more families and make me a full-time home teacher of eight families or individuals.

I realize nobody gets to invent their own calling and then call themselves to it.

But if I could, bishop ….

I’d ask you for the misfits. I can relate to them.

I don’t want people who are “projects,” I just want people to care about.

I’d ask you for a hot-shot as a companion.

I’d ask you, Bishop Smith, to hit me with surprise inspections in the middle of the month and middle of the night.

I’d ask you to get visibly annoyed if I didn’t come through.

Then give me a year.

If my eight families and I weren’t renewed, if we didn’t wear a new luster, like Lazarus, at the end of 12 months, well, I’d probably be dingy or dead by then anyway, so it wouldn’t matter.

Let’s try a trial by fire.

I know it sounds like I’m playing for laughs. But this isn’t a humor column, it’s more of a horror column.

The horror is I think I actually need something like this to wake me up.

The horror is, in my heart, I'm convinced it would work.

Email: jerjohn@deseretnews.com