Home Teaching vs. Block Captains
I really wanted to spend some time on this topic. I learned many things while pondering this and want to discuss them here.
The church’s guidelines state that the reports of the welfare of the members should come through the home teaching channel. I, at first, did not think this was wise council. I know the Lord’s way is the right way though so I started to study and pray until I understood. I am so grateful for the Lord’s council and guidance.
Let’s first understand a few things about the roles and concerns of the church and community with emergency preparedness.
- The church is concerned about your temporal and spiritual welfare
- Does NOT have emergency staff, fire trucks, ambulances, hospitals, etc…
- The church is concerned about your welfare before, during, and after the disaster.
- The community’s role is to help take care of only your temporal welfare
- DOES have emergency staff, fire trucks, ambulances, hospitals, etc…
- The community’s role is help during and immediately after disaster. They are not as concerned about the overall long term welfare of individual families
So each entity has different goals and tools to help during a disaster. When we work together we are able to offer our best to each other to help one another.
Real Life Application:
I live in a very rural area. The homes are very spread apart. My husband’s home teaching family lives a few miles away. Let’s say this family’s home started on fire. Communication would still be up and so they could call 911. Emergency personnel should be able to respond quickly. Their temporal needs will be met by the community emergency personnel. My husband can go over and comfort the family emotionally. Because he has been visiting them monthly he has a relationship with them and their children so he is able to offer that emotional comfort. He is also able to offer them a Priesthood blessing if they wish. He will continue even long term after the disaster to help the family and their welfare. Whereas after the fire is put out, the community’s job is done and ends there.
So I think to many this makes perfect sense why a home teacher can help during a family’s emergency. Let’s look at this same situation in a widespread disaster such as an earthquake where everyone is affected and you are not able to get help from emergency personnel.
Right after the disaster, my husband will take care of his family first and then go out to check on his families. Because I live in a rural area, if transportation/communication is down this could take a bit of time. When he reaches his family he is able to offer the same spiritual and emotional comfort as before. Because more than likely the emergency personnel will be busy, he can also try his best to help temporally. He reports to his quorum who reports to the Bishop. The Bishop will be communicating and working with the community with the reports he receives, but he already knows he has someone assigned helping that family until the emergency personnel get there.
A second plan goes into place during a widespread disaster. The community has a block captain program set up so that right after a disaster they can check locally 10 or less homes and report it to area coordinators who report to community emergency personnel. So the emergency personnel can go help where they are needed first.
Both plans working together benefit the family. The families were checked on by two different sources which I like because what if the block captain was hurt or the home teacher?. There is already a back up plan in place. Plus, all the family’s need were met. Spiritual and temporal healing and help. As well as immediate and long term help.
So what happens if the ward has a block captain program and are not going through the correct home teaching program? One of the biggest concerns is that instead of working with the community they are fighting against each other. Take this actual instance for consideration, this is how a town is currently set up near by.
The ward has asked Bob to be a block captain over a block of 10 homes. The town has asked Rachel to be the block captain and it is not over the exact same 10 homes the ward has chosen. They have outlined their plan a little differently so that Bob and Rachel have 6 homes that they are both covering. So in a disaster who is everyone reporting to? It gets confusing because there are 2 different block captains and different block maps. So when the Bishop is trying to help communicate who needs the help to emergency personnel it gets very confusing.
I also want to pose the question…what’s the point? If the ward is using block captains and the Bishop is aware very quickly of where a fire is at, what is the point? He doesn’t have fire trucks. He can tell the emergency personnel, but really it would have been quicker if the block captains are reporting directly to emergency personnel. He can see if there are ward members to help, but he does not have the same tools the community has.
So you can see that when we both follow a correct plan we can bless each other and those we serve. Thanks everyone!
Copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo