The third incident was told in conversation with Elder Holland by a church member who is a police officer. The man told of investigating a scene where he found five young children huddled together in a bedroom trying to sleep without bedding on a filthy floor as one woman and several men were in the home drinking and profaning. The officer found no food of any kind, and the only mattress was in the mother's bedroom.
The officer found some sheets, put them on the mattress and tucked all five children into the makeshift bed.
"With tears in his eyes he knelt down, offered a prayer to Heavenly Father for their protection and said good night," Elder Holland recounted. "As he rose and walked to the door, one of the children about age 6 jumped out of bed, grabbed him by the hand and pled, 'Will you please adopt me?'"
The officer put the child back in bed, found the stoned mother (the men had fled the scene) and said he would be back the next day "and heaven help you if some changes are not evident by the time I walk in that door. And there will be more changes after that. You have my word on it."
Elder Holland remarked: "All of us should care for the welfare of others and the moral safety of our extended community."
"If we don't take gospel blessings to our communities and our countries, the simple fact of the matter is we will never have enough policemen ... to enforce moral behavior even if it were enforceable."
He added that it is not just the children in the home who are sons and daughters of God. "That mother, more culpable because she is older and should be more responsible, is also a daughter of God. Such situations may require tough love in formal, even legal ways, but we must try to help when and where we can, because we are not checking our religion at the door, even as pathetic and irresponsible as some doors are."
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