Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
Members are enlisted to assist in cleaning
LDS Church News 30Jan99
By Shaun D. Stahle: Church News staff writer
Youth are given a prominent role
LDS Church News 30Jan99
"You've got to hurry faster." "Mommy said this is Heavenly Father's
house and it has to be done nice." These are a few of the comments that
were heard by several Stake Presidents, as a young family entered the
meetinghouse in Dallas, Texas. A recent call by the First Presidency
has been given to have members assume a greater responsibility for the
care and cleaning of Church meetinghouses.
Aaronic Priesthood quorums have been urged by the First Presidency in
a letter last fall to all priesthood leaders in the United States and
Canada, to take a prominent role in the care of meetinghouses. Presiding
Bishop H. David Burton said, "This new program is pretty simple." "It
basically amounts to inviting members of the Church to participate in
the cleaning of their buildings in such a way that by sacrifice, they
will come to honor and respect and love these beautiful houses of
"When you think about it, next to your home, and next to the temple,
where do the important events of life take place?" Bishope Burton
explained, "The meetinghouse becomes a center of spiritual and social
activities for our families." "Here we worship the Savior every week.
Here we partake of the sacrament and remember His atoning sacrifice.
Here we listen and learn the doctrines of the kingdom. Here we bless
our children." "Today, it is so easy for us to slip over to these
meetinghouses and treat them as any other ordinary building we may enter
during the week," he said.
Management groups will now, with an increase in member participation,
assist with the cleaning efforts once a week by performing the more
difficult tasks, such as refinsihing cultural hall floors, cleaning the
grout in rest rooms, and shampooing carpets. "We realize the members
come at a sacrifice and it would be very disappointing to them if they
couldn't get into the closet, or if supplies were limited and the
equipment did not function properly," said Bishop Burton.
The main part of coordination and leadership is through Stake
Presidents, with the high councilor assigned as the physical facility
representative with the bishops and branch presidents. All of those
working together will assure that the meetinghouse will be the beautiful
edifices they currently are.
Bishop Kelly Gibbs of the Orchard 3rd Ward, North Salt Lake Utah
Stake, said every Monday afternoon they clean their meetinghouse. "This
is a great opportunity for service by the youth." "It is good for the
youth because it teaches them to work." Bishop Gibbs said about l5-20
youth show up each Monday at 5 p.m. and within an hour the meetinghouse
sparkles. "At first we thought it would take longer, but once we got
going, it takes about an hour," the bishop said.
Cherie Barleson, l3, said, "It is fun cleaning. I am cleaning for
the Lord, anyway." Joey Stocking, l5, commented, "There is a lot of
stuff to get done." "After a month of cleaning, I see things I didn't
notice before." "I tell people to help pick up." "If they help out on
Sunday, there is not so much to do on Monday." "It is a great chance
for service." Young women Emily Gibbs, Karlee Schebel and Samantha
Fincher look forward to being together. "It is better than cleaning my
room," said Karlee. "Here, there are people to talk with."
Bishop James Nielsen of the Herriman lst Ward, Riverton Utah North
Stake, said, "In the Chruch there are lots of people who would rather
give money than time." "We use the youth as trainers," he said. "The
building seems to be nice and clean; so far, so good."