My grandmama died recently after a faster-than-expected onset of lung failure, subsequent discovery of advanced cancer, and then several strokes that accelerated her final decline. I visited her in her home a few months ago when her lung problems were just beginning to manifest. Then another visit a few weeks later at the hospital where her lungs were constantly being drained of accumulating fluid. I made the long drive home from both visits feeling heart-broken and powerless to help as a loved one struggled to get the care she needed and tried to navigate difficult end-of-life decisions.
What my grandmama needed in her somewhat-lonely-at-times situation were home teachers and visiting teachers that would have been "an important source of help" in the absence of more family members close by to help her. I hope that the home teaching program is alive and well in the spirit world because that means she may yet have the opportunity to know the joy of receiving caring home teachers and visiting teachers (you can be sure her temple work will soon be performed vicariously).
According to section 7.4.1 of Handbook 2 home teachers do the following kinds of things for their assigned families:
It's apparent to me that the responsibilities of home teachers to their assigned families represent the kinds of things that are done naturally among loving family members. I am implying with this statement that, as home teachers, we are to open our hearts to these families as if they were now part of our extended family. I challenge you to read section 7.4.1 of Handbook 2 and reflect on your assignments with these ideas in mind.