Friday, March 16, 2012

IN THE SERVICE OF YOUR FELLOW BEINGS

RELIEF SOCIETY EMBLEM
From lds.org
THE RELIEF SOCIETY MARKS 170 YEARS OF SERVICE
On March 17, 2012, the Relief Society will commemorate its 170th anniversary. Relief Society sisters throughout the world are invited to celebrate by participating in activities that will engage them in the work of Relief Society. Under the direction of local priesthood leaders, units can determine the activities that best fit their needs. The following are suggestions:
  • Organize and encourage sisters to participate in a temple or family history work experience.
  • Encourage sisters to bring someone back into activity or share the gospel with someone.
  • Encourage each sister to read and study Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society.
  • Invite sisters to share personal testimonies.
  • Invite wards and branches to submit their Relief Society history.
  • Encourage the creation of original music, poetry, literature, drama, dance, and other artistic works to commemorate the anniversary.
  • Organize Relief Society service in the community.
  • Improve in the ministry of visiting teaching. lds.org commemoration of the Relief Society
I am really excited about this, are you? Did anyone else know about this? I ask this because I remember thumbing through the March Ensign magazine and I saw a reference to the Relief Society marking 170 years of service. I am always the last to know.
So I have been a primary teacher for the past year and a half and I have really missed participating in the Relief Society. So much so that at one point I felt like I was in exile, so I poured all of myself in to being a good teacher for the kids I was assigned. It was hard, only because of my own unfamiliarity with  how to teach children. I found out that as I learned to love these children, these little individuals, I was able to love me too. And in loving them and me I was able to serve God better through them. I found that this love  also extended to my visiting sisters. Slowly I have been able to look at them not as  names I must visit every month, but  women who I would love to know better and serve. I am working on this.

As a new convert to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I look back and  I feel that Heavenly Father pulled out all the stops for me as a new member. He gave me some really great Visiting Sisters . I was really unfamiliar with the concept of people from church "visiting". I would often ask "why are you visiting me, don't you have anything else better to do?". They were extremely patient with me and answered every question I would ask. I thought that since my beloved Missionary Sisters were leaving, these ladies were there to soften the blow, to help me with everything else I needed as a new member,and so they were.
So in my last post concerning the Fast, I have come to the understanding that  we are servants of each other. This is a part of the meaning of the Saviors commandment to love one another as He has loved us. The Savior demonstrated that servitude by washing all of his disciples feet. I am sure that it was a surreal experience for them, even Peter protested by saying: "You should not be washing my feet Master, I should wash yours." But the Savior gently reminded him that if he did not allow this, then there was no place in the kingdom for him. So Peter's response was "Lord wash my head also!!!
Mosiah 2:17
17: And behold I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. Book of Mormon 
I read a post in LDS Women of God blog where the suggestion was to participate in 170 acts of service for the entire year. Don't hyperventilate over the number, I broke it down to 18.25 acts of service per month, since we are in March. I know you are probably thinking, you don't need to account for your acts of service, and I thought that too. But we do; and to account for them is to be responsible for every action that goes into the preparation and follow through of that act which should be translated into love for our fellow beings.
Proverbs 16: 1-3
1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
So I thought of ways I could serve not only our sisters in the church but all of God's children. I mentioned a favorite charity in my post on the Fast, The Women Who Care Ministry, which are a group of women who above all mothers in every aspect of their being and service.
 www.womenwhocareministries.org
Basically they feed children and  provide lunches on the weekend to kids who would otherwise miss that meal. It is a known fact that children in various living situations, regardless of the economic group, are missing meals.

MISSION STATEMENT
We're extremely excited about our fast-growing "Helping Kids Eat Backpack Weekend Food Program" that was launched in November 2008. We are currently providing over 375 backpacks filled with kid-friendly nutritious food items each week that the children take home with them, to ensure low income children aren't hungry over the weekends. With your help we are able to do this



A second charity that I love and participate in is
Quilts for Kids www.quiltsforkids.com
“Quilts for Kids” are volunteer quilters transforming fabrics into quilts for children in need. The organization will send you a “kit” of precut fabric and a simple quilt pattern. All that is needed from the volunteer is your time, thread, and batting and the cost of mailing it back, which may be as little as 25.00.
MISSION STATEMENT: Transforming discontinued, unwanted and other fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children with life-threatening illnesses and children of abuse
I love to sew and quilt, although I haven't done a lot of sewing in a few years. The fabulous part about this is that you sign up for a kit on the website, it is no charge. So I have sent off for a kit. I will keep you posted, maybe a video journal.

I have also considered contacting those past visiting sisters, those women to whom I was assigned earlier. I know that at least 3 of those women are inactive and struggling. I know that at least one of them does not have a visiting teacher. I feel that I need to at least try to make contact with these women, to see if they are in need of anything.
In our ward we have a few older sisters  who attend by themselves. Some of the ladies enjoy sitting alone, or so they say, but I love them and will make more of an effort to talk to them and sit with them. I know that our senior sisters have a lot to contribute and I hope I can encourage that from them.

On a daily basis I see many men and women and sometimes children standing on busy corners asking for money. It is a desperate and sad situation. These people are just like you and me. I have witnessed some strange antics to get attention. I saw a man on what was one of the hottest days of last summer, walk or try to walk up and down a median strip with an ill fitting leg prosthetic. So, I gave him some money, and I wished I had water to give him. I have seen husbands and wives. The saddest situation was a young mother and her daughter on a cold winter's day,standing in front of the post office asking for help with a meal. What was amazing was that I remembered her from last year. A lot of people have opinions about beggars or panhandlers and so did I. But I do my best to give something, even if its whatever I have in my purse.
Mosiah 4:16-20
16: And also,ye yourselves will succor (help) those that stand in need of your succor;ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition in vain, and turn him out to perish. 
17 Perhaps thou shalt say; The man has brought upon himself his misery;therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give him of my food, or impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same has great cause to repent;and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

19 For behold are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same being,even God, for all the substance which we have? For both food and rainment, and for gold and silver,and for all the riches which we have of every kind? BOOK OF MORMON
So, that is a start for me. I am offering a challenge, 170 act's of love and service for the year and hopefully it will become a part of who we are. Make a list, call your friends and family and do it together, do it by yourself, but don't be anonymous . Let your light shine,shine, shine. Write me and tell me about it.
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