Ok, I am a nerdy ward clerk, I admit it. This post isn’t about doctrine or theology at all. It’s about practice. If it seems secular and aspiritual in nature, it’s probably because I am a ward clerk and not an EQP.
This week I was asked to help set up the division of households for home teaching between the High Priests and the Elders. This is a challenge for me, and a big one. Ultimately, My solution was to pull about 20 different reports then push it back to the EQP and HPGL to work on, but I’d love your thoughts.
Hereâ€™s the problem. High Priests want to home teach High Priests, A recent letter says High Priests are responsible for home teaching Prospective Elders. It is the â€œruleâ€ in my ward that in families where the woman is young and single (or the head of household due to other reasons) she is to be taught by a High Priest. Also, If the woman is a widow (old and single or old and head of household) she is to be taught by the high priests. In fact, Women in General who are the head of the household are to be taught by the high priests.
Here-in lies the problem. Women represent 40% of the heads of Household in my Ward. Prospective Elders represent 25% of the heads and High Priests Represent 10%. So 75% of the Ward would need to be visited by 10% of the ward, while the other 25% of the Ward only needs to visit itself.
So what of these rules are real and what are imagined? Are there Wards that are able to obey these rules? If not, what are the better work arounds?
Problem #2, Home teaching is done by companionships. Because we have 15 active High Priests, we have stretched them into 14 companionships by either pairing them with their aaronic priesthood sons, pairing them with their wives, or pairing them with an Elder if they have neither of the above. We even have one High Priest who goes by himself. This isnâ€™t that bad.
The problem comes up in Elders Quorum, where the children are too young to go out, and the wife typically canâ€™t go with the husband because of the children. In this scenario, of our 16 companionships, 3 people have no companions, 3 people have active companions, and the other 10 have companions that havenâ€™t been to church in the 3 years Iâ€™ve lived in this ward, and Iâ€™d lay odds they donâ€™t home teach either.
What are the best practices here? Is it simply better to only selectively home teach? What are the best methods for getting through the list and ensuring everyone on the list actually even lives at the address provided?
(Keep in mind that this is only the visitable ward, as about 18% of the ward is on the â€œBishopâ€™s listâ€ anyway.)