Friday, June 6, 2014

Mormonism Saved My Sister's Life

Summertime here in Arizona can be fatal and it proves not uncommon for people to suffer dehydration, heat stroke, and the like in this most arid, scorching climate.  Quite recently my sister, being the excellent mother she is, took her four children to the local pool and stayed, drinking plenty of water in 108 degree heat.  This is very typical of Arizona weather and indeed temperatures here in Tucson sometimes hit 117 or hotter.  Plenty of others were at the pool and she thought nothing of it until nearly three hours had elapsed.  Then feeling faint and weak, she rounded up her charges and headed home.  As she drove, she felt as though she would go unconscious but bravely said nothing to her children.  She went to take a cold shower, thinking it would help her recover, but it only served to put her body into shock. 
Her son had a friend at the house and she asked them to go find a neighbor who could help, as she by this time was too ill to act for herself and her husband was away from home teaching scout camp requirements in the mountains at the time.  One of their neighbors was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who had been asked, and had accepted the call to act as a scoutmaster, as boys in Mormonism are automatically enrolled in the Boy Scouts when they come of age.  Her own son was already a scout and he and his friend knelt together and prayed for my sister, then got their scout manuals and proceeded to take care of her.  They and the scoutmaster called in kept her from going into further shock and by the time an ambulance came to escort her to the hospital, the wheels of Mormonism were in full swing.  In this religion it takes only one brief text to get virtually everyone in the congregation involved.  We are set up at all times as an organization prepared to deal with emergencies and by the time my sister was in the ambulance her phone was ringing off the hook as it were with people offering to take care of her children, bring her family dinner, visit her in the hospital, likely clean her house, or do anything else required to help.  Though this may seem strange, and that my sister must have been the most popular person in the congregation for a long time running, this is actually quite typical of how the Mormon church works.  An army of adults appeared at her house to take care of her children, one of the women already knew the allergies my sister's children had and was prepared to take them to her own house and cook gluten free meals for them, and the children had to pick and choose who would take care of each of them.  My sister spent the time she needed in the hospital without a worry in the world about the welfare of her home or four children and knowing that whatever she needed would be provided.  That, my friends, is the power of Mormon service and organization.
This is not an unusual experience in this religion.  When a woman has a baby it is customary that the others will provide her family with home cooked dinners until she can get back on her feet again.  When a friend of mine with seven children had to have an emergency surgery she had other women immediately in her house taking care of her home, her children and her until she could function sufficiently again.  Every month I have two women assigned to me to visit me in my house, check up on me, get to know the needs of my family and they are assigned to be my first means of communication if anything goes amiss.  They text me frequently to make sure I am well and ask if there is anything I need.  I, in turn, am assigned to two beautiful women who it has been my privilege to know and serve.  Each family has two men called home teachers who come into their home every month to check up and make sure all is well.  This is typical and it never stops, though the companionships and assignments do change so that we can all get to know each other and have turns serving each other in love and Christlike charity.  As my sister can rightly testify, there is no people in this world so well trained to provide Christlike service as are the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We love each other and we delight in service to those within and outside our faith.  The next time you have an emergency, get ahold of a Mormon.  ;) Our compassion is not reserved only for our own members and we're always here to serve!       

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