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Where Much is Given: This morning, John woke me up bright and early so I could fulfill our chapel cleaning assignment. This is our third cleaning assignment since we moved to this building last October. So we've spent about 4 hours, between us, cleaning the church in the last year. Some people don't even attend four hours of church in a year.

I had a lot of time to think while I was vacuuming. I started to think about why I was vacuuming. Lay clergy is just who we are, but it's only been 15 years or so since members have been asked to assist in chapel cleaning. The Church has plenty of money to pay people to clean the buildings, and in a lot of places, this would provide much needed employment for individuals. So, surely, there is a reason we are asked to do this. I thought of a talk by Elder Uchtdorf in General Conference a few weeks ago. He told this story:

Once there was a man who dreamed that he was in a great hall where all the religions of the world were gathered. He realized that each religion had much that seemed desirable and worthy.

He met a nice couple who represented The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and asked, “What do you require of your members?”

“We do not require anything,” they replied. “But the Lord asks that we consecrate all.”

The couple went on to explain about Church callings, home and visiting teaching, full-time missions, weekly family home evenings, temple work, welfare and humanitarian service, and assignments to teach.

“Do you pay your people for all the work they do?” the man asked.

“Oh, no,” the couple explained. “They offer their time freely.”

“Also,” the couple continued, “every six months our Church members spend a weekend attending or watching 10 hours of general conference.” “Ten hours of people giving talks?” the man wondered.

“What about your weekly church services? How long are they?”

“Three hours, every Sunday!”

“Oh, my,” the man said. “Do members of your church actually do what you have said?”

“That and more. We haven’t even mentioned family history, youth camps, devotionals, scripture study, leadership training, youth activities, early-morning seminary, maintaining Church buildings, and of course there is the Lord’s law of health, the monthly fast to help the poor, and tithing.”

The man said, “Now I’m confused. Why would anyone want to join such a church?”

The couple smiled and said, “We thought you would never ask.”

Indeed. Well, I don't have any profound answers. Maybe tithing money is better spent elsewhere. Maybe where much is given, much is required. Maybe it's easier to part with our tithing money than give our time in such mundane service. I'm going to go with that. Perhaps we need to be sacrificing more.


© 1999-2023 Susanna Chadwick.