Sunday, June 2, 2013

We must reach out to those in need

A person who wants to work, is capable of working, and does not have work, is a person in NEED.  Our obligation is not to judge or speculate about a person’s reasons for not working, but to stand ready to assist those who can and want to work.  We are under covenant to bear one another’s burdens and lift up the hands that hang down – to assist Church members and non-members alike.

In the scriptures we learn that Christ taught the importance of having concern for others.  A certain lawyer tempted Jesus by asking “Master, what shall I do to inherit Eternal Life?”  The Savior, knowing the heart of the man responded with “What is written in the Law?  How readest thou?”  The Lawyer answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.  The Savior then said, “Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.

The Lawyer, in trying to justify himself, said unto Jesus, “and who is my neighbor?”  The Savior then taught us all a very important lesson…

A certain man went from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves.  He was stripped of his raiment, beaten, wounded and robbed, leaving him half dead.  Two different religious men – a priest and a Levite – both “passed him by on the other side” without offering any aide.  A third man – a Samaritan – saw him and had compassion.  He bound his wounds, set him on his beast and took him to an inn, and took care of him.  On the morrow when he departed, he paid the innkeeper and said, “Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I return, I will repay thee.”

Jesus now asked, “Which now of these three thinkest thou was neighbor unto him that fell among thieves?  They lawyer responded with “He that shewed mercy on him”.  “Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise”.

Are we like unto the Samaritan who stopped and offered help to his neighbor or are we like unto the Priest and Levite who passed by on the other side?  Are we reaching out to help those around us who are in need?

Being unemployed, and wanting to work is damaging to ones self-esteem.  One begins to question abilities and skills.  Family stress is increased because of financial pressures.  It produces a downward spiral that must be stopped.  Members – Priesthood holders and Relief Society Sisters – need to reach out to friends and neighbors to provide assistance to those around us.

“The real long-term objective of the welfare plan is the building of character in the members of the Church, givers and receivers, rescuing all that is finest down deep inside of them, and bringing to flower and fruitage the latent richness of the spirit, which after all is the mission and purpose and reason for being of this Church.”President J. Reuben Clark

The structure is in place within the Church.  We are functioning as Area Employment Specialists.  We are working with the Stake and Ward Employment Specialist in providing training.  We will be holding a training conference in Aberdeen at the end of June to help the Ward Employment Specialist better understand their responsibilities.  We will be holding a Career Workshop in Edinburgh in July to assist individuals who are unemployed or under-employed be better prepared in their search for a job and the interview process.

This week has been rewarding for us.  We have recently met with a fellow who has been out of work for over 2 years…definitely in the downward spiral of lacking self-confidence.  We reviewed some principles of interviewing and being prepared with “power statements”.  We also will be reviewing his CV.   As he left our first meeting there was a change in his countenance and a more positive outlook on life.  We met with a sister who was beginning the process to search for employment.  She was convinced that she had no marketable skills.  After our meeting she realized that she did have something to offer an employer and is excited to continue the training process with us.
We are excited to be involved in this work.  We can see that things are beginning to come together for us.

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