There have been people who complained that the reason they became non-religious, was because the people in the churches were so imperfect. I too have seen the imperfections of humanity, and once upon a time, I too withdrew my support from official religions because I was incensed that the people weren’t more perfect.
I could have continued in this path of indifference, being perfectly right in my position of “the people aren’t perfect enough”, and it would have gotten me exactly nowhere. Nor would it have changed anything within the church except to leave it one body shorter of those who Could have been doing something to assist each other.
God saw fit to withdraw His support from me during this time (turn about is fair play). I was allowed to suffer the full effect of the buffetings of the world. Without His protection to keep me from harm, without His spirit to guide me in my choices, without His angels to watch over and protect me in my efforts, I became just another casualty of a dog-eat-dog world. I met the man who would become my husband during this time. Things went well for a while, but then, I changed jobs, and some issues which hadn’t been issues until then, suddenly became issues.
Once brought down low, and in need of assistance (no work,no money to pay bills, no food) my husband suggested that we turn to the local food banks at the local Christian churches. When he said this, I looked at Him, and with a sinking heart I said, “If we are going to do that, we might as well go to the one that does it the best.” He asked me what I meant by that, and I told him about The Church welfare department.
So we went to church together, and he met the congregation of people that I had left some five years before. It was only a little changed since I had been there. Some people had moved out, and others had moved in, but it was largely the same human family. We asked the Bishop for some food assistance. He said gladly, but also, the ward could help us with some other bills as well, like utilities. We were overjoyed at this blessing. Thank you.
Even though I had told my husband about the welfare program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he was still surprised at the extent of it. He held up a can of Chicken noodle soup and exclaimed, “They have their own canning factory?”
Actually, the members do that themselves with volunteer labor. I have been part of groups that volunteered time in both canning chicken noodle soup, and wrapping cheese for shipping before. It is a balance between a very efficient human chain, and a mechanical process. It is very well managed. The whole process is very efficient.
There are many Bishop’s storehouses scattered all over; tucked away in small industrial neighborhoods mostly. They are centers for charitable giving, both temporal and spiritual.
I am grateful beyond belief for this eye-opening experience; to have finally understood my place in the chain of service; to have been able to see, finally, that I was just as imperfect as the ones I was pointing fingers at; to understand that our imperfections are the very reason for Christ’s atonement; and the reason that we all finally stand before God with fear and trembling to work out our eternal salvation; and to know, without a shadow of a doubt that God loves even me, imperfect as I am, and that His love is so all encompassing that He will show me the error of my ways, if I am but willing to look, and set my feet back on the path to home.
© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.