Posts Tagged ‘about Mormons’

Protecting Traditional Marriage Based on Beliefs, Not Bigotry

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The issue of a state’s right to define marriage as between a man and a woman is winding its way through the court system, and it is likely on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court later this year. Proponents of same-sex unions argue that marriage is a “fundamental right.” One justice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit Court hearing arguments compared the ban on same-sex marriage to laws prohibiting interracial marriage decades ago, asking what is the difference between the two? But there are more important questions that must be answered: Why does it take a man and a woman to create a child? Why has marriage been—from our very first parents—the standard for bringing children into the world? What role does marriage play in society at large? And why does traditional marriage deserve a protected status? These are the relevant questions to answer.

Husband and wifeTraditional marriage has a foundation thousands and thousands of years in the making. Same-sex marriage is still in the experimental stage.  If as a society we succumb to the rhetoric that traditional marriage supporters are anti-gay, bigoted and hateful, we turn our backs on the fundamental, rational reasoning that has held societies and nations together for millennia—as well as the democratic ideals upon which our country was founded. The family is the fundamental unit of society. Not just any family unit, but the family unit that provides a stable and protective foundation to bring children into the world. It is our responsibility as adults—the ones who are supposed to protect children—to make the world a better place for future generations. The reality is that the fight to protect traditional marriage is just that: A fight to protect the definition, sanctity and importance of marriage between a man and a woman.

Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage Isn’t Bigotry

Defenders of traditional marriage often do so based on their religious beliefs as well as their experience with families. A 53-page so-called “friend-of-the-court” brief filed with the 10th Circuit Court by five religious organizations, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church), said:

Faith communities like ours are among the essential pillars of this Nation’s marriage culture. With our teachings, rituals, traditions, and ministries, we sustain and nourish both individual marriages and a culture that makes enduring marriages possible. We have the deepest interest in strengthening the time-honored institution of husband-wife marriage because of our religious beliefs and also because of the benefits it provides to children, families, and society. Our practical experience in this area is unequaled. In millions of ministry settings each day we see the benefits that married mother-father parenting brings to children. And we deal daily with the devastating effects of out-of-wedlock births, failed marriages, and the general decline of the venerable husband-wife marriage institution.

Religious leaders shepherd their flocks through times of trial—and see firsthand the devastating effect of the breakdown of the family. They are uniquely qualified to answer the questions of why the traditional family unit is so important. The brief continues:

In truth, we support the husband-wife definition of marriage because we believe it is right and good for children, families and society. Our respective faith traditions teach us that truth. But so do reason, long experience and social fact. … Faith communities and religious organizations have a long history of upholding traditional marriage for reasons that have nothing to do with homosexuality. Their support for husband-wife marriage precedes by centuries the very idea of same-sex marriage.

For The Church of Jesus Christ and other religious organizations, support for traditional marriage stems from their belief in God and in His commandments. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (with the First Presidency, the governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ), said:

Man’s laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral. … Laws legalizing so-called “same-sex marriage” do not change God’s law of marriage or His commandments and our standards concerning it.

People of faith believe that we are here on earth as part of God’s divine plan for His children—because we are all literal spirit children of our Father in Heaven. Elder Oaks explained:

For Latter-day Saints, God’s commandments are based on and inseparable from God’s plan for His children—the great plan of salvation. This plan, … explains our origin and destiny as children of God—where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. The plan of salvation explains the purpose of creation and the conditions of mortality, including God’s commandments, the need for a Savior, and the vital role of mortal and eternal families. … Our theology begins with heavenly parents, and our highest aspiration is to attain the fulness of eternal exaltation. We know this is possible only in a family relationship. We know that the marriage of a man and a woman is necessary for the accomplishment of God’s plan. Only this marriage will provide the approved setting for mortal birth and to prepare family members for eternal life. We look on marriage and the bearing and nurturing of children as part of God’s plan and a sacred duty of those given the opportunity to do so. We believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity.

Because marriage and children are central components of this plan, believers feel obligated to defend traditional marriage for the sake of children. Elder M. Russell Ballard, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, explained:

Church leaders have the responsibility to speak out on moral issues and to counsel individuals and families. The family is the basic unit of society; it is the basic unit of eternity. Thus, when forces threaten the family, Church leaders must respond.

The family is at the heart of Heavenly Father’s plan because we are all part of His family and because mortality is our opportunity to form our own families and to assume the role of parents. It is within our families that we learn unconditional love, which can come to us and draw us very close to God’s love. It is within families that values are taught and character is built. Father and mother are callings from which we will never be released, and there is no more important stewardship than the responsibility we have for God’s spirit children who come into our families.

Elder Neil L. Andersen, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, said:

While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not. In the very beginning, God initiated marriage between a man and a woman—Adam and Eve. He designated the purposes of marriage to go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults to, more importantly, advancing the ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured. Families are the treasure of heaven.

Why do we continue to talk about this? As Paul said, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.” As Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the responsibility to teach our Creator’s plan for His children and to warn of the consequences of disregarding His commandments.

The Nuclear Family is the Fabric of Human Society

Mixed racial familyThe traditional, or nuclear, family is the fabric that holds society together. The marriage covenant regulates the use of the procreative powers—the ability for a man and a woman to create life—and provides a stable foundation for bringing children into the world. It binds husbands and wives to each other, and the children to their parents. From the beginning, our first parents Adam and Eve were married and commanded to have children. In that order. Their commitment to each other provided the framework into which their children were born, nurtured and taught. They formed the first family on the earth, setting the example for generations to follow and teaching their children the ways of God.  The 2012 State of Our Unions report explained:

Throughout history, marriage has first and foremost been an institution for procreation and raising children. It has provided the cultural tie that seeks to connect the father to his children by binding him to the mother of his children. …

There is now ample evidence that stable and satisfactory marriages are crucial for the well-being of adults. Yet such marriages are even more important for the proper socialization and overall well-being of children. A central purpose of the institution of marriage is to ensure the responsible and long-term involvement of both biological parents in the difficult and time-consuming task of raising the next generation.

Children need both biological parents because mothers and fathers have complementary roles. Husbands are the protectors and providers and mothers are the caregivers and nurturers. Elder Russell M. Nelson, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, taught:

… Parenting is a joint venture. The father exercises his leadership with light and love, never in any degree of unrighteousness. The mother provides the intuition, the inspiration, and the nurture that come from her so naturally.

The late Elder James E. Faust, until his death, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, explained:

For centuries the family was the bedrock of this and many other nations. It was the glue that held society together. Now many families are in trouble, and the glue is coming unstuck. As a result, many children are bewildered: they are growing physically but lack the support system, the disciplined moral framework, and the love and understanding that a strong family can provide.

It is in a home and with a family that values are usually acquired, traditions are fostered, and commitments to others are established. There are really no adequate substitutes. Church, school, and government programs can only reinforce and supplement that which is acquired at home. …

Alternatives to the legal and loving marriage between a man and a woman are helping to unravel the fabric of human society. That fabric, of course, is the family. These so-called alternative life-styles cannot be accepted as right because they frustrate God’s commandment for a life-giving union of male and female within a legal marriage (see Genesis 1:28). If practiced by all adults, these life-styles would mean the end of family.

Traditional marriage is the fabric that holds human society together because it is here where we are taught our values, morals and fundamental beliefs. President Gordon B. Hinckley, until his death, the prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ, taught:

A nation will rise no higher than the strength of its homes. If you want to reform a nation, you begin with families, with parents who teach their children principles and values that are positive and affirmative and will lead them to worthwhile endeavors. That is the basic failure that has taken place in America. And we are making a tremendous effort to bring about greater solidarity in families. Parents have no greater responsibility in this world than the bringing up of their children in the right way, and they will have no greater satisfaction as the years pass than to see those children grow in integrity and honesty and make something of their lives.

Redefining marriage would reform America’s homes by weakening the foundation upon which they are built. And if a nation will rise no higher than the strength of its homes, we owe it to ourselves to strengthen our homes, defend our families and protect the sanctity of our marriages. Marriage does matter—and it matters how it is defined. Why does traditional marriage deserve a protected status in our society? Because it is the only union capable of producing offspring—and it is the children, not the adults, who need to be protected.

Marriage Between a Man & Woman is Good Public Policy

Families are the treasures of HeavenIn addition to benefiting children, traditional marriage, frankly, is good public policy. It is economically beneficial for both spouses, and it eases the economic burden on society when both parents work together to provide for their children. The 2012 Report State of Our Unions found:

The institution of marriage itself provides a wealth-generation bonus. It does this through providing economies of scale (two can live more cheaply than one), and as implicitly a long-term personal contract it encourages economic specialization. Working as a couple, individuals can develop those skills in which they excel, leaving others to their spouse. Also, married couples save and invest more for the future, and they can act as a small insurance pool against life uncertainties such as illness and job loss. …

Beyond the economic advantages of marriage for the married couples themselves, marriage has a tremendous economic impact on society. … Research has consistently shown that divorce and unmarried childbearing increase child poverty. In recent years the majority of children who grow up outside of married families have experienced at least one year of dire poverty…. The rise in child poverty, of course, generates significant public costs in health and welfare programs.

Marriages that end in divorce also are very costly to the public. One researcher determined that a single divorce costs state and federal governments about $30,000, based on such factors as the increased use of food stamps and public housing as well as increased bankruptcies and juvenile delinquency. The nation’s 1.4 million divorces in 2002 are estimated to have cost the taxpayers more than $30 billion.

Traditional marriage binds husbands and wives to their children, providing a stable foundation to bring children into the world. The financial costs alone of the breakdown of the family are staggering. Elder Oaks said:

Few measures of the welfare of our rising generation are more disturbing than the recent report that 41 percent of all births in the United States were to women who were not married. Unmarried mothers have massive challenges, and the evidence is clear that their children are at a significant disadvantage when compared with children raised by married parents. …

We should assume the same disadvantages for children raised by couples of the same gender. The social science literature is controversial and politically charged on the long-term effect of this on children, principally because, as a New York Times writer observed, “same-sex marriage is a social experiment, and like most experiments it will take time to understand its consequences.”

These are all very compelling reasons for the courts to uphold the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. As eager as the courts seem to be to break new ground on the marriage front, they owe it to the nation as well as to future generations to slow down and really listen to those who are on the front-lines of the marriage culture—religious leaders who are dealing with the aftermath of the breakdown of the family.

Traditional Marriage is Different and Deserves Protection

The government’s role is to protect the common good. History has proven that this is best done by preserving and protecting traditional marriage and the family unit. The amicus brief concluded:

Marriage, understood as the union of one man and one woman, remains a vital and foundational institution of civil society. The government’s interests in continuing to encourage and support marriage are not merely legitimate but compelling. No other institution joins together two persons with the natural ability to create children for the purpose of maximizing the welfare of such children. No other institution strives to ensure that children have the opportunity of feeling a sense of security and being raised in a stable household by the mother and father who conceived them.  Undermining the husband-wife marital institution by redefining it to include same-sex couples will, in the long term, harm vital child-welfare interests that only the husband-wife definition can secure. The result will be more mothers and fathers concluding that the highest end of marriage is not the welfare of their children but the advancement of their own life choices. We know, from personal experience over numerous decades of ministering to families and children, that more focus on satisfying adult needs will not benefit vulnerable children. The societal ills caused by the deterioration of husband-wife marriage will only be aggravated if the State cannot reserve to marriage its historic and socially vital meaning.

Traditional marriage deserves protection and its own unique status because it is different. Traditional marriage has a power that no other relationship does. It was ordained of God from the beginning of the world. Elder Boyd K. Packer, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, taught:

I have seen and heard, as you have seen and heard, the signals all about us, carefully orchestrated to convince us that marriage is out of date and in the way. … Marriage is the shelter where families are created. That society which puts low value on marriage sows the wind and, in time, will reap the whirlwind—and thereafter, unless they repent, bring upon themselves a holocaust!

The same warning applies to those who would make a mockery of marriage in same-sex unions. Elder Packer also warned:

There are both moral and physical laws “irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world” that cannot be changed. History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot. To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.

Opposition to same-sex marriage isn’t based on bigotry—it’s based on belief in God, His commandments and His plan for His children. It’s based on a fundamental desire to preserve and protect the family and its place as the foundational unit of society. Those who would redefine marriage to include same-sex unions would replace the strength of the family with a counterfeit replica.

5 Lessons We Learn from ‘Star Wars’ and Other Sci-Fi Classics

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Space—the final frontier. The stage for epic intergalactic battles and alien foes. Science fiction classics like “Ender’s Game,” “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” transport us to other worlds, alternate universes where Ewoks, Buggers and Klingons reside. But science fiction is also about two worlds colliding—and what happens when they do. Different worlds, different cultures, different peoples and/or species who may not speak the same language or share the same beliefs. We may never encounter an extraterrestrial being in our lives—but we’ve all met another person who just seemed to be from a different planet. Maybe we were the ones feeling like the alien—someone who just didn’t fit in, or didn’t belong. Author Orson Scott Card—best known for his sci-fi novels as well as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church)—said:

In a way, being a Mormon prepares you to deal with science fiction, because we live simultaneously in two very different cultures. The result is that we all know what it’s like to be strangers in a strange land. It’s not just a coincidence that there are so many effective Mormon science fiction writers. We don’t regard being an alien as an alien experience. But it also means that we’re not surprised when people don’t understand what we’re saying or what we think. It’s easy to misinterpret us. [1] (more…)

Mormons Are Staying on Top of Technology

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Brick-and-mortar churches are emptying in many communities. People–especially millennials–just aren’t attending church the way their counterparts did fifty years ago. But one church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church), continues to add members to its ranks. How is this possible? Several factors contribute to the Church’s continued successful growth — membership exceeded 15 million in October 2013 — not the least of which is its use of modern technology.

User-friendly access

The Church of Jesus Christ has a whole network of websites dedicated to making its message of the Savior accessible and easy to understand. LDS.org is the primary site for members and contains access to canonized scripture, lesson manuals, General Conference messages, church magazine articles, and web-only featured content. Church members can register at the site and then gain access to online notebooks for personal study as well as congregation directories and calendars. The site has evolved over the years to be more user-friendly and interactive, and it continues to improve in the richness of its content, adding streaming of conferences, audio files, and video.

LDS-org-Jesus-ChristIn addition to LDS.org, The Church of Jesus Christ maintains several other websites. Mormon.org is a site directed to those who aren’t Mormons and who are looking to learn more about the faith and teachings. Through Mormon.org, users can read profiles of Mormons (submitted directly by members), read concise content about beliefs, order their own free copy of the Book of Mormon, and even live-chat with missionaries. (more…)

Elizabeth Smart: We Can Know That God is With Us

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Elizabeth Smart, we are defined by our choices.

Elizabeth Smart has a story to tell: hers. But it’s not just a story of tragedy and despair and the depths of human depravity. Rather, it is hope when things seem hopeless, strength and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, and the knowledge that no matter what, God is always with us. (more…)

Elizabeth Smart – We Can Know that God is with Us

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

By Lisa Montague.

Elizabeth Smart has a story to tell: hers. But it’s not just a story of tragedy and despair and the depths of human depravity. Rather, it is hope when things seem hopeless, strength and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, and the knowledge that no matter what, God is always with us.

my-story

The now-25-year-old became a household name in the summer of 2002 when she was kidnapped from her affluent home in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the age of 14. For 9 months, her parents, family and community prayed, searched and clung to the hope that she would be found safe and alive. Her family—members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes inadvertently called the Mormon Church—worked hard to ensure that Elizabeth’s name and picture were not forgotten in the hopes that someone, somewhere would recognize her and bring her home. And through their faith, prayers and dedication, miracles happened. Elizabeth was brought home. (more…)

Mormons Honored for Portrayal of People With Disabilities

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Many people have seen the popular “I’m a Mormon” campaign, which outlines the lives of ordinary and diverse members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What you may not know, though, is that more than 120,000 of those profiles are of people with disabilities. Some are written by the members themselves. Others are unscripted videos. Recently, The American Association of People with Disabilities recognized the Church for its outstanding portrayal of people with disabilities in mass media. AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello said, “They tell the disability experience in a way that is real, no apologies, and it’s absolutely astounding.” He called them a powerful force for changing public perceptions of people with disabilities.

Mormons volunteer more than other Americans.One video includes the amusing story of a man with just one leg. Most of his young martial arts students don’t know that one of his legs is artificial so when a child yanked it off by mistake, the class—including the waiting mothers—were thrown into chaos of tears and screaming. This man, Tim Hurst is also a marathon runner.

Ingrid Maldonado, a Guatemalan amputee, is a college student and also works for the government, helping people who can’t read or write with applications. She lost her legs a little at a time after catching on fire and had a series of surgeries from ages two to twelve. When she gets depressed, she remembers that others suffer far more and that Jesus Christ, though suffering great trials, went through life essentially happy and that she can, too. She considers herself a person with no limits. (more…)

Mormon Church: Contradictory Beliefs?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

As a sophomore studying physics at Brigham Young University, I have a different view on the world than a lot of youth my age. Many people wonder how I can reconcile such strong religious beliefs with such secular logical theory. But I have a strong testimony of both. To me faith fortifies the logical, and my secular knowledge of physics and the mechanics of the universe broadens my understanding of God. If I was limited to only one or the other, I would in fact find myself confined and restricted in understanding.

mormon education

Learning more about the world around us can help increase our faith in God.

For example, throughout scripture God commonly uses the concept of light as His preferred metaphor for Himself. To many this would merely be an accepted condition and they would move on to read the rest of the verse, but to me, as I study light in my physics classes at BYU, I understand the great meaning that can be drawn from this name alone. For example, light is used to not only expel darkness and bring warmth, but it is also the byproduct of electrons bumping up an energy level and thus emitting a photon.

This can be compared to God’s presence becoming more and more evident in our life as we ascend to higher spiritual levels. In addition, light is the only material that is truly constant in the universe—being the basis of all the equations and theories that we have,—just as God is the only true and unchangeable constant in the universe, the only constant upon which if we build we can never ever fall. And finally, light is the only material that is both a particle and a wave, and whose behavior varies upon whether or not we are observing it (double-slit experiment). A single photon will inexplicably behave as a wave if unobserved, but once placed under the scrutiny of the human eye it will behave as it should, or rather as a particle. Similarly, God does not always act the way we expect, seeing as we are observing a celestial and infinite subject through finite mortal eyes, as He says “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8). (more…)

Mormon Church: Our Power Over Our Destinies

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Hey there, my name is Stuart and I’m a college student here at BYU. I’m hoping to someday become a surgeon, but I still have a lot of school left ahead. I’m nearly 22 and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mistakenly called The Mormon Church). We’re known that way for a book of scripture called the Book of Mormon, which is very much like the Bible in that it teaches of Christ and was written by prophets, but it is different because it was written by ancient prophets in America. One of the first of these was a man named Nephi, a very righteous man who lived roughly around 600 BC. He took great care to teach his people the law and the commandments and of the Savior who was to come. To do this, many times he read to them words of previous prophets and helped them understand and apply them. That is also the way we should use scripture, trying to make it personal. One of his favorite prophets to quote was Isaiah. Nephi dedicates several chapters to sharing some of Isaiah’s teaching that he used. This last week I read some of those chapters and some things jumped out at me, especially in chapter 24 of 2 Nephi. In this chapter Nephi is quoting what we know today as Isaiah 14 and it speaks about the devil. Usually that’s something people frown upon, thinking that it’s not even good to talk about him, but in reality it depends on what’s being said and why. Isaiah in this part is taunting the devil and at the same time teaching us a valuable lesson. He speaks of the last days, how the Lord will be victorious and reward His covenant people. He speaks of how the world will rejoice, that it will break forth in singing at the downfall of the tyrant. The next verses have always caused me to ponder, they read: (more…)

Mormon Church: “Ye Must Pray Always”

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

I’m in my second month as a freshman here at Brigham Young University and I couldn’t be more grateful for my required Book of Mormon class. The fact that twice a week I get to learn more about scriptures in an academic setting always amazes me! Both our class lectures and my out-of-class readings help me keep my priorities straight and remind me of my Heavenly Father’s love. This last week I was especially touched by a passage spoken by the ancient American prophet Nephi as he was nearing the end of his life. This is found in 2 Nephi 32:9.

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.”

Mormon Prayer

The Lord wants us to come to Him so He can help us make decisions.

Nephi is reminding those who read his words of a powerful principle. If we are trying to do something “unto the Lord” it is imperative that we pray to Heavenly Father about it. This way He will be able to make our experience something that will enable us to obtain our goal of eternal life. Perhaps the strongest word employed by the prophet Nephi is anything. There should not be anything that we are doing which is not “unto the Lord,” and thus if we take the proper steps there should not be anything in our lives which is not being consecrated by the Lord for our eternal welfare. School, work, relationships, service—these are all facets of our lives where we can obtain incredible support from our Heavenly Father. (more…)

Mormon Church: Serving Others

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”) are firm believers in helping the poor and needy. We believe that it is what Christ would do, and so we should follow His example by helping others. We learn principles like this from the Book of Mormon, a book of holy scriptures similar to the Bible, because it talks about it in there. The Book of Mormon is about the God’s people who lived on the American continent. The Book of Mormon tells and preaches of Christ; Christ even appears to the people in that land after He was resurrected.

One of the more prominent parts of the Book of Mormon that talks of helping the poor among us is from the book of Jacob. Jacob was a prophet among the nation of the Nephites (the “father” of their nation was Nephi, who left Jerusalem in the year 600 BC, 13 years before the city was destroyed by the Babylonians) who was commanded to tell the people to repent of their ways and return to God. One of the sins that the Nephites were struggling with was pride. Many of them believe that because they had more money and riches compared to others, that they were better than the poor. Jacob tells them that this is a false assumption, and that everyone is equal to each other. He tells them that if they do seek for riches, that the riches should be used “for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and afflicted” (Jacob 2:19).

Mormon Tithing

By paying tithing and fast offerings Church members help provide for the Church’s needs and for the poor and needy.

As members of the Church today we try to do this. One of the ways we do this is a “fast offering” fund. A fast offering fund is where members of the Church, or anyone who wants to participate, donate money to the cause of helping others that are going through financial struggles. By doing this, those who need the money will receive it. What is amazing is 100% of the money donated is given to the cause of those in need. Now-a-days, many charities only give a portion of the money donated to the actual cause. With our Fast Offerings, 100%, and no less, goes to those who need it. We also have what is called tithing, where members give 10% of all their income to the effort to help build our Church. It is used to build more church buildings, and things of that nature. None of the money donated ever is given to our clergymen; they do not have salaries at all. They do not get paid a penny for all the time and effort they put into helping out the Church. (more…)