This year we're studying President Howard W. Hunter. The first chapter of the manual outlines his life and ministry. President Hunter's mother was a faithful member of the church, but his father wasn't a member until later in life. When President Hunter was young, he wanted so badly to be baptized, but his father wanted him to wait. When he was 12 years old, he and his sister gained their father's approval and were baptized. His father was baptized several years later.
The manual tells of a time when President Hunter was attending the Mesa Arizona Temple while he was serving as stake president. He was asked by the temple president to address those assembled in the chapel. He said, “While I was speaking to the congregation, … my father and mother came into the chapel dressed in white. I had no idea my father was prepared for his temple blessings, although Mother had been anxious about it for some time. I was so overcome with emotion that I was unable to continue to speak. President Pierce [the temple president] came to my side and explained the reason for the interruption. When my father and mother came to the temple that morning they asked the president not to mention to me that they were there because they wanted it to be a birthday surprise. This was a birthday I have never forgotten because on that day they were endowed and I had the privilege of witnessing their sealing, following which I was sealed to them.”
President Hunter mentioned later that a caring bishop and faithful home teachers were the ones to be able to encourage President Hunter's father to be baptized.
Having grown up in a less-active family, I can testify that faithful home and visiting teachers DO make a difference. When we faithfully serve in this capacity, we can bless the lives of others in ways that we can scarcely imagine. Faithful home and visiting teachers can impact families for eternity.
It's a new year. Resolve to become a better home or visiting teacher today!