Follow us @WheatnTweet!
How do you feel about church members cleaning the buildings?
Furthermore, who bought these weird vacuum cleaners at wholesale? Discuss.
Tags: cleaning, janitor, work
This entry was posted on June 23, 2012 at 3:21 AM and is filed under Church Policy, Mormon, Mormon Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Unfortunately it has a track record of causing members to take better care of buildings …
Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? 4
I’m not sure how I feel about the practice overall, but I really enjoy cleaning the church once in a while, especially the chapel. I feel more connected to the building. Also, throw in a podcast or two to listen to while cleaning and you can have your own Saturday church meeting! :)
I think it is great and gives members more of a feeling of ownership of the building.
As a side note my mother lost her job there as a janitor when this policy was changed. It was a good thing for her, she got to go out into the world and find better and more interesting jobs that paid better also.
Like this comment? 2
I’m in agreement with both the hiring janitors and hassle statements. Those who routinely do it are those who also happen to routinely be at church on Saturday. It also bugs me that building cleaning is the only form of cleaning promoted within EQ/HP. All other tasks get shoved off onto the RS.
Though I wish we would hire janitors again I shutter at the thought of how little they would be paid.
I just don’t buy the fire janitors, building gets treated better argument. I think a lot of it has to do with schedule changes, avoiding foods that stain carpet, and keeping children with their parents outside of nursery. Any room regularly associated with Primary still looks like crap.
Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? 6
I don’t mind taking our turn, but our building suffers from some slackers, and so it’s sure embarrassing to go to church and have the bathroom be filthy for weeks on end, or walk into the chapel at 9 am on Sunday and find it still covered with Cheerios dust and candy wrappers.
NewlyHousewife, our men also have to also clean the Conference Center regularly, and both men and women have temple cleaning assignments. Besides the RS assignment to clean the church kitchen twice a year, we don’t have any other RS cleaning assignments–what is your ward dealing with?
The business consultant in me couldn’t handle the disorder of building cleaning, so many years ago when this switched over I did a quick clean list that engaged the assistance of children, and could get the whole building spotless in 45 minutes with 8 people (including chalkboards). Funny thing is, people often resist a structure and prefer to wander around the building redoing each other’s tasks and missing others. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’s part of the larger picture of helping us all learn leadership and followership in church. I will admit to a secret sense of satisfaction that I contributed to how nice it looks. We may not do the organization well, but we have people who will spend 3 hours there on a Saturday, and our building is almost always pretty clean. That’s pretty cool.
Like this comment? 0
Okay, I’ll be honest. I don’t like cleaning the church at all. When I was down in the single’s ward buildings, I would try and go and help but it was always the same five people and it took forever and it was frustrating. When my singles ward was moved to a family ward building I quit going because it was too disgusting and just made me mad.
I do my part to keep the building clean when I’m there, but I’m not giving up my Saturday’s to spend 3 hours clearning, which is how long it takes because of how many people show up.
I’m grateful for those that are willing to do it. I’m just going to have to admit selfishness in this respect.
One of my friends wards tried something different – they tried assigning one section to a family for the long haul. She and her husband were assigned the boys bathroom. She told me that she went once, nearly gagged and never went again. They were kept on that assignment for months. Her husband was a good sport and faithfully did it every time, but even he was getting extremely frustrated.
Like this comment? 3
My biggest beef with this policy is the bathrooms. A public bathroom used by potentially upwards of 500 people on a Sunday alone needs to be cleaned well, with proper disinfectants.
Janitorial work is sisyphean enough with the right equipment, but my building (the stake center) has gone the extra mile with a janitorial closet that is about as well equipped as my broom closet–two vacuum cleaners, one mop bucket and several brooms. And the mop is the kind that you have to wring out by hand. It wouldn’t be too bad, but the building has three floors and about half is tiled. If we had the heavy machinery pictured above it would be downright heavenly.
There are people of varying mental and physical capacity among us who need and want that work and the pay, even if the pay might be on the low end. Nonetheless, I remember the before and the after; I remember the janitor from the ward I grew up in, how he helped support and keep his family, which included kids my age. I remember him. For me, something got lost with the change for those who needed the work and for those who liked seeing and talking with such workers. I note how many now comment on the sense of accomplishment they get from volunteering. I know that feeling too. But think of someone possibly unable to do any other kind of work and the sense of having a job that pays.
Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? 18
There is also the opportunity for those who are receiving assistance to have something meaningful to do to give back. Unfortunately, assistance has become more one-way in later years. Pros and cons both ways.
Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? 5
Remember! Every member a …..JANITOR!
Anita, I don’t live in Utah. There’s no Conference Center or temple within 5 walking minutes to vacuum.
Though I guess I should note that when I’m cleaning the building I’m cleaning the Stake Center.
My (ward) calling is to coordinate the cleaning of the building, which means at times I have to pitch in myself. As a single Dad raising a 12 y.o. girl, it can be a tad hectic. Yet I’m glad to do it. It’s the same reason that one of my most fond temple experiences is cleaning the Sacramento temple. Yes, EVERY member a JANITOR. Do it and they appreciate some of what it takes to maintain the Lord’s meetinghouses and temples. You see less crayon marks on walls and Cheerios in the pew aisles. As for “putting Janitors out of work”, what would please the “Mean People Suck” crowd? Employing some hapless soul at slave wages to push a broom is compassion? The tithe funds need to be spent wisely. There are tasks where professionals are employed (carpet cleaning and/or window washing). We need look only to the Amish, who help their young families by pitching in as a community to build a house or a barn. My kind of ‘socialism’…help families out of love, not compulsion.
Like this comment? 1
My kids and I cleaned today. It was supposed to be the entire elders quorum. We showed up plus one guy and one high priest. There were 4 other families committed. We spend a couple hours.
Frustrating . .
More than once, the only people who have shown up has been me and someone from the bishopric. Some people complain about the “Same Ten People” who get all the callings in the ward. I only wish we averaged ten people a week when it was our ward’s turn to clean the building.
Since no one else will say it, I will. The policy of every member a janitor is rediculous. Believing that is an “inspired” program to benefit the members is also rediculous. It’s simply a cost cutting measure for the corporation. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? 12
#17 – W.P. So your solution is…what? Fork over the hard-earned tithing dollars to employ a janitorial crew or contractor instead of using it for other purposes (building construction, missionary program, temples, the list is endless…). The “corporation” has the responsibility to spend tithing dollars wisely. Allowing the members to contribute their time and labor instead of mandating that monies be allocated for janitorial needs isn’t “inspired” so much as it’s a matter of common sense. However, spoil-sports like yourself are the pathetic type that contribute nothing and carp always. Go away and be a parasite elsewhere.
#17 – Bain consultants were actually behind having the members do the cleaning. We had professional janitors when I was a kid.
I didn’t know that Bain was involved in that decision. It makes me feel better about my 45-minute master list. :D
#18 – Douglas,
I take offense to your last paragraph there.
Name calling is NOT okay – not here in my community, and not anywhere else, either.
Disagreement does not require insults or verbal violence and I would appreciate it if you would refrain from such in the future.
My ward “assigns” you a weekend and I never go. This is one issue where I have put my foot down.
Paying for a janitor to come clean the building isn’t “taking away valuable tithing funds,” it’s giving back to the community by offering someone employment. And people being paid who have the right equipment do a MUCH better job than a bunch of tired families on a Saturday morning.
My husband remembers cleaning the church growing up when his family was receiving food from the church and I think that’s a pretty good idea too, but ultimately, cleaning well kind of requires a professional.
#21, #17 – I reserve the right to “offend” when I’m calling out someone for rank stupidity and their own cowardly name-calling. Their may indeed be a “corporation” (of the President of the Church of JC, LDS), necessary to conduct the business affairs of a Church of millions with thousands of meetinghouses and numerous other facilities and programs. Ultimately, it’s run by people, not merely from the top down, but also by the faith and loving service of millions, given freely and with the intent to serve their Lord. It’s them that you insulted, whether you realized it or not, and that’s why I object strenously and call you a “carper” (were we in Mao’s China, I suppose the epithet would be “Capitalist Roader”). Grow up and develop a thicker skin.
#18 Wow, ouch! I guess I struck a nerve with you.
Douglas, did you lose sight of the fact that this was an opinion poll? The original question asked was, “How do you feel about church members cleaning the buildings?”
Four possible choices were given. Of the available choices, I chose the one that most closely represented what my opinion was. I’m sure you did the same. As did everyone else.
In reading through the ensuing comments, people offered varying points of view–some short, some long. These comments ranged from feeling personal fulfillment from participation in the program to frustration in terms of additional the demand on their already maxed out schedules. Each shared viewpoint was equally valid and simply represents what the experience of the individual is or was.
At the end of the day and no matter how you parse it, “every member a janitor” is simply a cost saving measure. Period. And yes, whether you find it offensive or not, it is a money saving measure for the corporation–nothing more, nothing less.
Where’s the heresy in that statement?
Let’s not confuse the “corporation” with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are two very different things. Attributing every decision or policy made by the corporation in running the day-to-day physical operations as “inspired” is nonsensical. This isn’t a criticism, it’s a fact.
As a business, they are shrewd operators. There is an incredible amount of talent at their disposal. They maximize it and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with not agreeing with every policy that comes down from the COB.
With that being said, let’s look at your response to my comment…
“So your solution is…what? Fork over the hard-earned tithing dollars to employ a janitorial crew or contractor instead of using it for other purposes (building construction, missionary program, temples, the list is endless…).”
I spent six years as the finance clerk and two as the ward clerk, serving under two different bishoprics. The church has a policy that fundraising activities cannot compete with services generally performed in the commercial sector as it would potentially take jobs away from those in the community that need them. Yet, that is exactly what they do by firing the janitors and having the jobs performed by the membership of the local units for free. It is exactly what they do when calling senior missionary couple to many of the “service” missions that are filled.
There’s a disconnect here. And yes, I do find it a bit disingenuous.
My point was that I wish that they would just be upfront with why they are instituting the policy instead of cloaking it BS. In simple terms, I don’t particularly care for it when someone pees on my leg and tells me it’s really just raining. It’s like a meeting I was required to attend for all of the clerks in the stake on a Thursday night. The first twenty minutes was spent listening to talks about how and why we should be grateful to be attending the meeting that night. Seriously?? They could have dispensed with the pomposity and simply handled the necessary business in that same twenty minutes.
I liken the janitorial policy to what Donald Trump did years ago when his show, The Apprentice, first debuted. The winner that season was a real estate broker. She won a job working for Trump. Her responsibilities? Overseeing and facilitating the renovation, marketing and sale of a $100 million+ property in Florida as an employee. Yes, it was a great opportunity for her. And, it was a very shrewd move on Trump’s part. By doing that, he basically reduced his cost on those services down to maybe five or ten cents on the dollar. Freakin’ Brilliant!!
“The “corporation” has the responsibility to spend tithing dollars wisely.”
Yes, it does. And sometimes, the way it’s done leaves people with the feeling that a little transparency and honesty might be nice.
“Allowing the members to contribute their time and labor instead of mandating that monies be allocated for janitorial needs isn’t “inspired” so much as it’s a matter of common sense.”
Umm, I thought that’s part of what tithing was supposed to be used for. “Time and labor” are money. The corporation is simply going back to the same well for more of it in a different form. Why not just come out and say, “Tithing is now 11%, thus saith the Lord.”
Maybe the Lord miscalculated that 10% figure. And, maybe a $4 million donation to the UofU Law School was really an “inspired” decision too.
This part was my favorite…
“However, spoil-sports like yourself are the pathetic type that contribute nothing and carp always. Go away and be a parasite elsewhere.”
Feelin’ the love from that one. Thanks for sharing it with me. And no, I won’t go away.
Love you too, Douglas. Kisses.
Gotta run, church starts soon.
Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? 9
#23 – I’ll address this one when I get back from church.
Before I go, one quick question… Are you always this caustic?
Maybe you could help me understand why you are feeling and expressing such bitterness.
The U of U’s law school has had serious needs. Keeping it from closing may well be Inpired.
However, I note your characterization of my statements. I do not appreciate it.
There is good evidence that having people care for their buildings makes for better care.
As for every member rendering humble service — washing feet and similar things — seems that Christ had an example or two.
So, WP, in my comment (#1 or so in this thread) I was not telling anyone it was rain….
Douglas, you have just been baited. Don’t.
Both of you, get back on topic and calm down the sniping.
In previous generations (as recently as the 1960s), the members had to build their own chapels–every member a bricklayer! Cleaning a few times a year seems easier than that.
NewlyHousewife, just because we’re in Utah doesn’t mean everything’s quite that close. Our closest temple is a 25 minute drive, and the Conference Center is 35 minutes away if traffic is good, so it’s still a sacrifice to have those midnight cleaning assignments there every few months.
#24,#25 (WP) I’m “caustic”, BROTHER, because if the post length is any measurement, it would seem that it’s your nerve that got “touched”, as is your referencing the Church as the “corporation”. For every finger pointed at me, there are three pointed at thee… Look, if you’re arguing that for some they could spend that time and effort spent on playing custodian in their respective professions and simply write the check to keep a janitor on the payroll, then it’s valid. I see that you watch Clint Eastwood westerns too.
I’m having a hard time figuring out where the Church is being euphemistic or deceptive about the member cleaning assignments as you seem to assert. It’s been my observation that most of the families in my ward are happy to do their part. It’s more than a dollars-and-cents argument anyway, it’s about direct participation. And if more families were consistent about their participation, the “burden” would be well-shared. There’s no “heresy” if you believe that the boys in Salt Lake ran the numbers and figured that member participation in light cleaning would be the most cost effective. I could debate that, but I don’t have a career in running Church facilities, so I defer to their judgement as the state of most meetinghouses is well-maintained (they seem to know what they’re doing). It comes down to humility, and we can find reasons for ourselves as to other “blessings”. It’s my observation that you seem to shut out said blessings and rail on in bitterness. Ok, I’ve “reproved with sharpness”, because I felt that you deserved it. You also deserve thanks for your service and don’t let whatever got under your skin drive you away, me included. Sometimes, if nothing else, there’s just the satisfaction that you did your best, even if you don’t get the immediate thanks. When I look at my grown children, I don’t remember all the hassles and arguments, I see the end product and am thus far satisfied. Please find a similar measure of joy for yourself, WP.
anita — I’ve been on work sites, shoveling dirt and carrying out trash. Good point.
My wife cleaned the stake center yesterday. She is a non-believing attender. She feels since she uses the building and pays no tithing, cleaning is something that she can do and feel good about it. As she left to go clean, she said she was happy to do it.
It may be true that members doing the cleaning makes for a cleaner building. It may be true that members doing the cleaning builds community.
But it is also true that doing the cleaning is just one more thing added to an already full plate. And now, with the demise of activity committees, I’m also supposed to be in charge of ward activities as a part of my leadership calling.
If you want me to clean the building then figure out what you can eliminate to equalize it. I would humbly suggest most stake training meetings and stake priesthood meetings of any kind as a good start.
#1 the members who use are building don’t treat it any better now that they have to clean it. Have you seen the filth some people live in it at home? Why would they treat/clean the church any differently?
I tried to get involved but the top-down structure left me frustrated. I purchased a special biodegradeable natural product that uses enzymes to kill bacteria to clean the diaper pails. It worked wonderfully but I was told that I can’t use it because it’s an outside cleaner. I was also told that I couldn’t take the diaper pails outside to air in the hot sun (which helps tremendously with odor) because nothing is allowed to leave the building. And no one could tell me who exactly could give me special permission to do either thing.
I left a flower pot in the women’s bathroom disguising an order blocker product that works miracles. I wonder how long it will last there before someone removes it since it’s an outside item.
I’m DONE trying to clean the building on Saturdays. I pick up after myself and my family and that’s enough (and I go home to use the restroom).
Wow. Your experience sounds terrible.
MD, I do not know what else to say. I have never had similar experiences so I really can not say much, except that I feel for you.
#32 (KLC) – consideration SHOULD be given to members having enough of their time taken up. The Church is supposed to help us strengthen our families, not take up so much time we neglect our spouses and children. #33 – good point, and kudos on the flower pot. I recall one time that when I and my “tribe’ had the building, we brought some of our own cleaning product (Melalucca) to polish up the wood baseboard. The member closet didn’t have any wood cleaner or polish. Our “reward” was to have the member of the high council in charge of facilities gripe at me for using a “non-approved” product. What a dick. Even in the Church, no good deed goes unpunished. Still, I know that we made the building look better, so who cares what the sanctimonious prick thinks.
#29 – It’s was a long reply because I can tend to get diarrhea of thought and mouth. Once it’s flowing, well… Haha!!
Anyway Douglas, it’s all good. No offense taken and none intended to be given.
Life and church are a balancing act. I think that at times, it can get tipped too far in a particular direction. The issue of cleaning the meetinghouses is not in and of itself, a make or break deal. There are an equal amount of positives and negatives that go along with it.
I do think though that the stong feelings about it are really more symptomatic of larger issues that simmer just below the surface. Those issues vary, just depends on the individual.
All I know, is that I’m glad I’m not running the show because I would fail miserably at it.
This was an insight-provoking discussion for those of us on the outside looking in. A vantage point I am even more determined to maintain.
#36 – Ok, kisses and make up. Apologies for previous stridency. Sometimes have foot-in-mouth disease online as well. Likewise my selection as even a bishop would be proof that good help is so hard to find. The interesting thing is that I too tire of the “PR” aspect, as well as the tone that some speakers have of being overly “righteous”. Hard to describe, it’s an impression. And I’m sure that those whose tone of voice or speaking manner puts me off have no such superiority complex at all. Methinks that they get so used to taking such a formal tone that they can no longer tell how they come across to the general public (self-righteous and phony). As for “Every member a Janitor”…I suspect that it comes and goes. I’ve seen similar trends in nearly thirty years slavin’ away for Uncle Sam. Most business fads run in cycles. At some point, somebody running Church facilities will run the analysis of the effect of member participation and find it wanting. They’ll get out the PowerPoint presentation and get the ear of the appropriate Apostle(s) and perhaps a member of the First Presidency. Of course the matter will get prayed over. Then a new policy and NOW it’s all “hunky-dory”. It’s amazing that the Lord gets His work done in spite of us. Free Agency…it is a “witch with a capital B”.
“I was told that I can’t use it because it’s an outside cleaner.” This sounds a whole lot like getting the smack down from your company’s purchasing department. I have to think that’s what’s behind it. Suddenly, yes, I am feeling a bit like a corporate church.
Or think about any caustic substance someone could knowingly/unknowingly bring in. Those leaders were just probably playing it safe. Over the top, yes, but I would want to cover my hide too.
Rick, if I had not seen some incredibly bad mistakes by people … But, sigh, people will mix ammonia and chlorine bleach, or iodine sterilizers (oops, no explosives recipes here) or …
You make an excellent point.
People need to understand that rules exist to protect us from someone else’s, err, mistakes.
Hawk, we love it when someone else is spending money (and not asking for $50 in reimbursement for $1.95 worth of cleaner).
Scent a bathroom with fifty gallons of rose extract, not so much.
Light air freshner? Bishop pays for that out of his own pocket.
In WWII, many sacrifices were made by the US people (and others around the world). It seemed easier to work a bit more, and make due with a bit less, etc. because everyone was in the same boat, working for the same cause.
If the Church was in dire straits and us all chipping in to clean the buildings was a way to help, I’d be completely behind it. However, when they spend $3 billion on malls, $72 million bailing out a developer who donates to BYU, tens of millions on private hunting preserves, tens of millions on land around SLC, tens of millions on a hotel in Hawaii, etc. it’s hard to suggest that they are “hurting”. At some point, all of the Church’s resources came from contributions of members. It seems they have chosen to invest quite a bit in businesses. And, if you were a business, getting unpaid volunteers to do work makes perfect sense.
That being said, my family and I still show up each time our turn comes up and clean the building.
Ah, Mike, I don’t think it’s fair to even implicitly represent those expenditures as arising from donated funds. The Church has a number of enterprise operations, decently well-managed. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the Church is hurting. But just as the lay ministry helps us by letting us constantly bump into one another, rubbing off rough edges, so does lay work. It’s unifying in the right circumstances. When the circumstances are off, it’s an opportunity for people to rise to the better within themselves and right them.
Bonnie: I don’t think it’s fair to even implicitly represent those expenditures as arising from donated funds.
I’m not going to derail the post by getting into it, but the Church was started with donated assets from members. Period. Just because a mall was built from profits from prior donations that had been invested as opposed to current donations is irrelevant. The ultimate source of all of these billions of dollars in businesses is donated funds. To argue otherwise sounds like Bill Clinton arguing what the definition of “is” is.
It is also known (but not publicized by the corporation) that the Church invests the tithing funds for 3 years, using the profits thereby gained for its for-profit malls, etc, and only then using the tithing funds for their stated purposes a full THREE years after they receive them.
Professional janitors. In a blitz-clean you walk into that bathroom, spray the blue cleaner on the glass, counters, sinks, TP casing, and stall handles, then the yellow cleaner in and on the toilets all over. Overspray hits the back wall and floor. You wipe off the mirrors top-down, counters, sinks, stall handles and TP casing. You then wipe off the toilets/urinals, flush handles and ignore the wall and floor. Someone else comes through and mops. Voila. Bathroom clean in 10 minutes, not a germ in sight. You can do that with natural cleaners, but the church is about correlation. If only it correlated the process you guys would be in and out of the church in 45 minutes with a bling-sparkling building. Processes are harder to correlate than products.
I think the whole “outside products” issue is because of liability. I teach school and we are only supposed to use “approved” products. That being said, most teachers ignore it because schools are full of germs and we prefer healthy children to protocol. (ex: hand sanitizer is prohibited but most parents GIVE it to us and we all love it and when a child shows up with pink eye and is rubbing his hands over everything you better believe I bust out the Clorox wipes.)
#48 – True words. My wife is a teacher. Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer… her two best friends. Haha!
Sorry for the late reply. Somehow I missed it.
From a personal perspective, I have participated in the Chapel clean with my family, however I think there’s an option missing. It should say something like, ‘It doesn’t affect me. I will never do it. That’s what my Tithing is for’.
Regarding the use of Tithing, the first purpose of listed in the Gospel Principles manual is:
‘Build, maintain, and operate temples, meetinghouses, and other buildings.’
But that’s no longer the case. More and more, we hear that it’s the members giving freely of their time to maintain Temples and meetinghouses. The work is usually done on a Saturday, the only free day when you can focus on getting things done in the home. It also takes you out of the home, where everyone agrees we should be focusing our efforts on family success.
Now to the source – I can find lots of quotes from Bishop Burton on this subject:
‘”The most important thing to understand,” continued Bishop Burton, “is that this program was not primarily instituted to save money. This is a program to develop personal character and receive eternal blessings. “Those priesthood leaders who teach their people that this is an opportunity to sacrifice and to build the kingdom will find success in their efforts,” he continued.’
I could be way wrong and I’m happy to be proven so, but it seems that we have something that had the potential to affect every member of the Church, yet I can’t find a single quote from The 1st Presidency or the Qof12 that links Chapel cleaning with receiving ‘eternal blessings’ and building the ‘kingdom’. Doesn’t that seem odd? Has anyone read a quote from ‘The 15’ on this subject?
If there is no quote from ‘The 15’, do we have a potential policy shift? Can we still say that the first use of Tithing is to, ‘Build, maintain, and operate temples, meetinghouses, and other buildings.’, when we are seeing more and more members doing this for free while still being faithful tithe payers? Should we update our manuals and Missionary discussions to reflect the change?
Can the Presiding Bishopric make such a global change, announce that members will receive eternal blessings and that the Kingdom will be built, without ‘The 15’ expressing an opinion or spiritual confirmation on the matter?
Is this our understanding of the ‘Order of things’?
I don’t see it as a schism so much as it being not that big a deal. Facilities management is under the Presiding Bishopric. The 15′s primary concern is spiritual direction of the Church. Blessings from service is pretty much a given, as is the inferrence that voluntering to help clean helps to build the kingdom. What are you driving at?
I did not mean it to sound like a schism, I just find it interesting that someone who is not a member of The 15 can announce a change that affects the whole Church, throw in the mantra ‘eternal blessings’ and service opportunity’ and know that the members will say, ‘OK, we’ll do it’. Our members are good people. And that can be a blessing and a curse.
I also find it fascinating that I can’t find any mention of this from The 15, knowing that this announcement affected every person in their charge.
It reminds me of something I’ve seen time and again in Ward Council Meetings. A Ward Council member mentions that Brother or Sister ‘Smith’ has just come out of hospital and needs help. Ward Council agrees that this is a ‘great’ welfare opportunity and all members will receive ‘eternal blessings by providing service’. So Relief Society starts thinking of a meal rota for the next few weeks, and Priesthood starts thinking of providing lifts for the family or other such actions. Everyone is keen and inspired about helping this family and having ward members’ lives blessed (including the family) by doing their bit to help ‘build the kingdom’.
Then another Ward Council member starts asking some searching questions:
‘Isn’t Brother/Sister Smith married? Her spouse is fit and well. They have children in their teens and twenties. Can’t they look after their spouse/parent? Shouldn’t the responsibility first fall on the family, then the extended family with the Church standing ready to assist when those resources cannot? Isn’t that the order of things in regards to the Welfare Principle? Why are we putting ourselves between this family and their own responsibilities?’
No problem with service and I believe that great blessings do come from serving wherever, but our members’ time should be considered a very sacred resource. I just don’t think we (the Branch, Ward, Stake or Church) should be asking families to do things that we can very much do for ourselves or that the family can very much do for themselves. It becomes an abuse of that sacred resource.
I hate cleaning the church building. Our ward makes a master list (alphabetically) and assigns 4-5 families a Saturday. It usually takes about 1 1/2 or 2 hours. The building really never gets cleaned properly and looks like crap every week. The bathrooms in particular are atrocious! We don’t have the proper cleaning supplies and people are lazy. When you have a public facility with 250-300 people (or more) using the building on a daily basis a professional janitor is needed. Give someone a job who needs it.
Subscribe without commenting E-Mail: