Saturday, February 28, 2009

Latter-Day Saints Part II

This morning I woke up with a desire to focus on WHAT REALLY MATTERS. It comes mostly after reading the blog of a man I hope to one day call a friend. He is a doctor helping each day to inform, educate, help, and love. I'll be doing a post about him tomorrow. But today, I wanted to focus on what really matters about my LDS faith.

The LDS church participates in Humanitarian service across the globe, in vast ways, to far away lands, and all in the spirit of love.

So many people in my life have taught me the value of serving and loving. 

Whether it be from one of the latest campaign of 54,784 Latter-day Saint volunteers, the Church has contributed to measles campaigns in 28 countries. In total, 189,261,345 children have been vaccinated in the campaigns where Church members participated, according to Church Welfare Services.

And the effort is saving lives.

Worldwide deaths from measles were 242,000 in 2006, down from nearly 900,000 in 1999. The goal of the Measles Vaccination Initiative is to bring the mortality rate to fewer than 100,000 by 2010, said Dr. Peter Strebel of the World Health Organization.


My old Bishop went to Kenya to build a school. He took thousands of dollars of his own money to help teach and educate a village. He brought the young kids clothes to wear and school uniforms. He built desks side by side with the men of the village, giving them the tools to do so. He is, to this day, one of the most giving and charitable people that I know. THAT'S WHAT REALLY MATTERS.


When April was living in Paris, she got into a horrible car accident. She was far from home, had no one around and the people of the church cared for her. They loved her. They went with her to the hospital, stayed by her side, helped her to pack and safely took her to the airport so she could come home. They were their for her each step of the way, giving her blessings, giving her love and care and THAT'S WHAT REALLY MATTERS.


The countless times I have been in strange lands and foreign countries and I have felt comfort in knowing I had an immediate community across the globe of people who would be willing to help me and care for me. Even with Michelle and I got stuck in Argentina in September (curse you hurricane IKE!) We had seen the temple as we were driving into Buenos Aires and we knew that if our resources ran out, we could go there and they would help us. Some member would give us a place to stay. Someone would give us a ride to the airport. We could really count on that and I think THAT'S WHAT REALLY MATTERS.


The amazing woman who lives in my sister's Ward who went to Africa on a mission for two years and taught the women of a certain village how to sew. She brought them sewing machines and material and taught them how to make these beautiful African baby dolls. These dolls are becoming well known. They are 25 dollars each and that is the pricetag on one year of education for a child. I bought my nieces one for Christmas. I spoke with the woman and she told me of the great pride these ladies in Africa have at actually being able to work for their children to go to school. No one likes a handout, but honest work, THAT'S WHAT REALLY MATTERS.


Latter-day Saint Charities
To help carry out Church humanitarian efforts, Latter-day Saint Charities was created in 1996. Latter-day Saint Charities is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable agency registered in many countries.

Latter-day Saint Charities is a member of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations.

There are just too many examples from around the globe to my personal life to really put them out here. But I do believe that most people are just trying to do the best that they can each and every day.


smiles4u said...

All these things are beautiful acts of giving. Wow! I would love to hear more about these dolls that these women make and sell. Is there a web site that I could go to, to buy one? I am very touched by reading about all of these things. I look forward to reading your next post about this doctor. I love your heart my friend!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

These ARE the things that matter. so much good.

Rowena said...

I believe in spirituality, doing good and being kind. But I have seen too many instances of religions taking what is good and holy and turning it into a weapon against those who are different and a tool to gain more power. As a result, I do not believe in organized religion.

However, I can see the huge benefit that religion brings in the way it creates communities.

I have not been able to reconcile the good that religion does with the evil. So I go without.

Not without belief or spirituality, just without church or temple.

Kristan said...

"But I do believe that most people are just trying to do the best that they can each and every day."

I agree completely.

Michelle said...

The church is pretty great with all their humanitarian efforts.

We need to go for a walk again soon.

Laura said...

I'm wondering if this global economic crisis will help us to look beyond our purchases and into our relationships instead.

What a great tradition of helping and assisting, and how wonderful to know that no matter where you are, there is someone who will extend a hand.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Excellent, excellent post D'Arcy.
I could NOT agree with you more!

Outreach programs are SO vital... especially NOW!

Have people done bad things in the name of religion? Without a doubt, YES! We live in a broken world!!
But I think throwing out the baby with the bathwater is foolish....

Look at all the wonderful examples you gave in your post! Look at all the hospitals, universities, schools, orphanages, etc., that have been built, funded, staffed, ETC. due to churches.

The LDS church has been in the forefront in this regard. They have been faithful to Christ's teaching: .... "as you do to the least of these, so you do unto me..."