What a junior home-teaching companion expects of his senior companion

Stake general priesthood meeting
Charlotte North Carolina South Stake
Sunday, 23 November 1997

Good evening, brethren. I really enjoy giving talks, believe it or not, so I’m very thankful to be here this evening to talk to you. I’ll be talking to you this evening on something that is very important to me personally and, as we learn in the Doctrine and Covenants, an integral part of the system that the Lord set up in his restored Church to look over his sheep. That topic is home teaching and, more specifically, what a junior companion should and does expect from his senior companion and the role the senior companion should take in relation to his junior companion.

There are some simple needs in a home-teaching companionship over which the senior companion has a stewardship. The first that comes to mind is that, as needed, a senior companion should provide his junior companion with rides to and from their home-teaching appointments. The Lord has his reasons for sending out home teachers in pairs, and when they cannot or do not fulfill their duty as a pair, these reasons are brought to nothing. Additionally, the time spent together as companions allows them to catch up on each other’s lives, learn the needs of each other’s families, strengthen their relationship as home-teaching companions, and prepare for their visits. One suggestion that I would have is that, during this short trip, they pray for the presence and guidance of the Spirit at their appointments and for the welfare of their families. The Savior in his earthly ministry said, as found in Matthew 18:19, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”

Also, the senior companion should take the primary role in ensuring that he and his junior companion keep in touch and maintain good communication between themselves. The Melchizedek Priesthood holder should make sure that his junior companion knows the time and place of upcoming visits, and the junior companion should do likewise. A good area in which an Aaronic Priesthood holder can be given some responsibility is in making the home-teaching appointments and informing his senior companion of the time and place of these appointments. This also assists the junior companion in keeping in touch in his own way with his home-teaching families.

We read in Doctrine and Covenants 84:26, “And the [Aaronic P]riesthood … holdeth the key of … the preparatory gospel.” In other words, the Aaronic Priesthood prepares young men to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood and fulfill the duties that come with it, including that of being senior home-teaching companions. A senior companion is supposed to be one of the people who implements this program of preparation. As a result of this responsibility, they are to take the leadership in the companionship, and junior companions recognize this duty.

One way that I as a junior companion recognize this duty of my senior companion is by expecting him to take the primary part in preparing each month’s lesson. At the same time, however, I expect him to keep me in mind when preparing the lesson and to allow me a job to play in the presentation of his lesson. Occasionally, I even like to have the role of preparing the lesson myself when the topic is of less magnitude than in other months (though I won’t mind not preparing this month’s lesson, Brother Barringer). I have done so in the past, and in doing this I have been able to sharpen my skills in giving talks in sacrament meeting and even in writing reports and making presentations for school.

In conclusion, we as junior companions expect our senior companions generally to be a leader and an example. We expect them to teach us as guided by the Holy Ghost to be good junior companions and good Aaronic Priesthood holders, and eventually to be good senior companions and Melchizedek Priesthood holders. We expect them to let us and to help us be involved in recognizing and fulfilling the stewardships over which the Lord has called us. We expect them to guide us in performing our roles as junior companions and, while keeping enough responsibility for themselves, allowing us sufficient responsibility to teach us what exactly we should do. Last of all, we expect our senior home-teaching companions to help us exercise and to even execute themselves the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 20:59 which states: “They are … to warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.” And this I say in the name of our Redeemer, Lord, and King, Jesus Christ, amen.

This article appeared on page 23 of Issue 14 | April 2014.

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