Ezekiel's charge to serve as the Lord's watchman has been frequently applied to home teaching in modern times. For example, in October conference in 1978, Elder L. Tom Perry of the
Council of the Twelve commented: "The Lord, from the very beginning has taught His children of their obligation to look after one another. In the days of Adam and the early fathers, it was generally the eldest father who was called upon to excerise his patriarchal responsibility to watch over the families. As the children of the Lord increased in number, the principle of watching over the Church by the priesthood was the Lord's way of seeing that the fathers did their duty, as well as assisting them in that responsibility."A study of the history of mankind will reveal that every time the Lord has established His Church on the earth, one of its distinguishing characteristics has been a system to watch over and strengthen the membership. . . .
"Beginning with father Adam down to the present when the Lord's Church has been organized on the earth, there has been a system, a program to have brotherly and sisterly concern one for another. The history of these general conferences is filled with discourses from the Brethren reminding us of this sacred obligation. I have been impressed to add my voice to that record today with the hope that we can be motivated to place the calling of home teachers in its proper priority in our lives. . . .
The home teacher is the first line of defense to watch over and strengthen that basic unit [of the familyT. In our priority of time commitments we ought to first watch over and strengthen our own families, and then be good, consistent conscientious home teachers. . . .
"God grant us the vision to see the potential of our home teaching assignments, and the desire to do His will to watch over and strengthen those whom we have been called to serve with a special spirit of interest, concern and love."
Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the Gospel Doctrine course of study.
Information compiled by Gerry Avant and John Hart
Sources: The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson; Church Educational System's Old Testament Student Manual; King James Bible commentary by John A. Dickson Publishing Co.; and October 1978 general conference report.