Monday, August 8, 2011

The Great Welfare Plan

I recently read parts of Stacy McDonald's thoughtful 4 part series on "Grace Widows," or one who is an "innocent party in divorce."  Stacy goes on to say how those in the church (Christians) need to care for these women (or men) who have experienced this kind of trauma.  She also gives ideas on how to help.  I thought, yes, families surely need to be particularly supportive in this type of situation, both financially and emotionally (when able), and when that can't happen, the church needs to step in.  Of course after that, government and other community programs are very nice.

At church on Sunday, we were learning about Saul/Paul and the expansion of the early Christian church.  We were reading Acts chapter 6 verse 1:
And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
What struck me was one of the reasons for the expansion of the church was the care of widows! 

Then I remembered what a great modern welfare plan The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has to care for  widows and others who need help.  I realized what a blessing it is that the organization of The Church has expanded the globe, so it is easily able to reach so many people, including widows.

I had the opportunity to work for the Welfare Department of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints for a span of 8 years.  What a marvelous opportunity it was to see the Gospel in action in this manner.  I was able to see Church work in Kosovo, response to Hurricane Mitch, the employment and food production programs, humanitarian aid, and so much more.  I will always be a "Welfare Girl," and the Welfare Department will always hold a special place in my heart.  What a wonderful program; what a wonderful place.

The Church Welfare program had it's 75th anniversary this year.  Here's a little video:

Lots more awesome videos here if you are interested.

Recapturing Beauty

Sunday was a beautiful day for me-- I enjoyed *every second* of my church meetings {which you know, as a mother, is a rare thing indeed!} but most particularly, we had a wonderful lesson in Relief Society about inner beauty. This is not a new topic, but it was presented so powerfully today, along with a challenge to participate in a 10-day recapturing beauty challenge. I have every intention of completing this challenge, and I hope some of you will consider it as well!

I know {or hope} that I am not the only one who struggles with self-image at times. We all do -- how can we not, with the media playing such a significant role in our daily lives? Of course I'm aware of those extra pounds, the freckles on my face, flat hair, etc. etc. etc. However, I have been really trying lately to see myself as the Lord sees me. He created me this way for a purpose, so I truly believe it is my obligation, and hopefully some day pleasure, to see me in the same Light that He sees me. I hope that we as women can recognize our incredible

nature, and rise above the messages thrown at us from a compromised world.

"The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years." -Audrey Hepburn

I'm excited to spend the next 10 days focusing on my inner beauty ... I hope you'll consider joining me!