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I'm itching to do more


AtlanticMike

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So between the last post I made and this one, I met with my stake president. We are both health nuts and this morning we met at whole foods to pick up our fruits and olives for the next few days. We've been friends forever and we're kind of in the same line of work. He's really been helping me this week, trying to answer as many of my questions about the church that really bug me. Today, I told him I feel like if I'm going to stay in the church that I need to do more, I'm anxious,  I feel like as a member of our church that I'm not doing anything to help with the hurt and turmoil all around us, especially now with this pandemic. Ok, I know this next part is going to possibly upset some people,  but here goes. Basically, as a stake president his hands are tied when it comes to doing anything extra, especially when it involves spending money.  Everything has to be approved by the higher ups. And for me that isn't going to work anymore. As I've said in past post, I cant stand that our church is sitting there on this nice piece of property and besides sunday, the only time it gets used is by maintenance workers and landscapers! I'm tired of riding by other churches during this pandemic and see that they've stepped up their efforts in helping the needy  with donation boxes out front,  food drives out front and setting up 100s of chairs in the parking lot on sunday (6 feet apart) and putting signs out front that read, ANY ONE IS WELCOME TO STOP BY. I dont know what's going on with me, maybe I'm going through a midlife crisis or something but I need to do more spiritually because I'm just not getting it doing the same old thing over and over and over. So I told my stake president this morning that i understand he cant do more just to make me happy, so there's a good chance I'm going to start another business and put a 1/4 of my tithing  toward opening a nonprofit,  something that can benefit my neighborhood. I cut one check at the end of the year for tithing instead of monthly, and much to my surprise he told me to do what I think is best. I'm sure there will be consequences in the future but believe it or not I just dont care right now. I need to make a difference and I need to do it now, I'm frustrated. Any suggestions?

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I would tell you to do what is best too, but not because I felt that giving 1/4 of your tithing somewhere was right.  I would tell you that because there is agency and I think when we are humble with the Lord and ask Him and are willing to do what He asks then He will guide us. 

One thing to keep in mind - and I'm not saying this is a right or wrong thing, just reminding of consequences - is that this would make you no longer a full tithe payer and not able to have a temple recommend. 

Now to what the church is doing and not doing.  

Are you familiar with justserve.com?  This is done by the church.  It us a way to connect charities with those who want to serve. For awhile I was a just serve specialist training my stake how to use it and finding charities that would like to be on it.  I talked with a lot of other specialists at the time.

What I found is that some stakes love it and some stakes are very lackluster with it and the majority of the time it falls with the stake president.  If the stake president wants to do service then he puts money towards it and encourages the stake to do service and to serve in the just serve projects as well.  If a stake president is not big on it then the bishops and leaders and members won't be either.   You will get a few people excited, but generally if leaders are not excited members won't be either.

I know stake who do a lot of things and stakes that don't and it doesn't seem to go along wealth lines.

The church actually spends money on a lot of charity, but they are often behind the scenes.  They have discovered that when they learn about a need if they come in and throw everything at the people already doing something it just causes problems.

For example a large church here was helping with something.  So many people were needing help that they asked for help from a stake here.  Because of our organization the stake came in planning things and trying to set anything in place - ignoring that the big church had already been doing things, knew what was needed better and had their own organizing.  That church didn't need us to be in charge.  It needed volunteers and goods. 

So when the church discovers needs it more often looks to who is already on the ground and tries to help them with money, goods or volunteers.  And usually they are pretty quiet about it - giving the focus to the charity and not the church.

So if you are interested in serving check out just serve for things in your area.  Look for charities in your area.  Keep your eyes open for needs.  Look at government web pages to see what they have going as well.  Don't forget to visit with your neighbors and do your ministering.   

I've found that when I keep my eyes open and try a lot of things that something opens up to me that - opens my heart to where I should be.

 

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