It’s come to my attention that maybe we are TEACHING our members to live off the dole. We hear the opposite preached all the time: how important it is for us to become self-reliant…spend less…use up…wear out…do without etc. The message is clear we rely first on ourselves, then our own family, then the church and then maybe the government. So why does it keep happening?
Why do we continue to get asked in Priesthood to help move someone? Or why are we asked in R.S. to bring in meals to a new mother? I don’t remember the exact discussion but an older High Priest asked the question in class one day, "Why are we bringing meals to this mother, she’s had 9 months to prepare?" He suggested that the women should have made meals in advance for her family and put them in the freezer. He also suggested that the husband was perfectly capable of fixing meals.
Then there’s the family who just arrived in town last night and calls the Bishop and wants help unloading their U-haul. And the next week it’s the family that’s moving out of the Ward and the Elders Quroum’s help in loading the truck.
We’ve taught these people to think this way! It’s the Mormon expectation. So you say "yeah, so what’s wrong with that?" I think it’s a matter of attitude and maybe even a bit of living the letter rather than the spirit of the law.
Should a new mother prepare meals in advance of her delivery? Yes! Can the father fix meals for the family? He certainly should! Should the R.S. assign meals to be taken in to the family? I think it depends. First it’s the V.T.s responsibility to assess the needs. Second it’s the V.T.s responsiblity to make sure the needs are met…either with them doing it, or asking further help.
Here’s why I have a problem with the current attitude. The mother expects it to be done. Some go as far as to request certain foods, or tell the sisters what not to bring. No one has met with the sister / husband to explain that they have some responsibility here to prepare in advance. No one has really met with the sister / husband to assess the needs (there’s a big difference between the NEEDS and WANTS that many members have or feel they are entitled to). Do we every contact, or have the sister contact her own family to see how they can / will help?
Same thing holds true for the move-ins and move-outs. If you’ve been in the Ward a while then why is it the Elders Quorum’s responsibility to move you out? Do you have family? Why isn’t it your responsibility to call a few of your friends to come over and help…why does it have to be an assignment from the quorum? In fact, if you’d take it on yourself you’d get a lot less rejection calling a few of your friends than the EQ presidency will get making calls for you. You should be the one making the calls not the presidency.
And if you’re moving into a new ward CALL AHEAD! I don’t thin we have to jump up and help people who don’t plan properly. That goes for the ones who haven’t put any effort in getting things ready to move too! We don’t have to pull the ox out of the mire if the stupid owner pushed it in!
Again, I guess I see this problem as much to do with attitude as I do with helping when we should. Sure we should helpout and serve others. But, I think it should be voluntarily done, not by guilt. I think it should be because we want to help, not because we have to help. I think the people should take more of the responsibility themselves. I think we should quit training our members to rely on the service of others…I think that is contrary to what the brethern have taught us.