Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas
Take Las Vegas Boulevard. Go past the wedding chapel that claims "Michael Jordan was married here" and past a second that declares, "Make your marriage special. Use our drive-through chapel."
Turn left at the Encore Hotel and stop at The Guardian Angel Cathedral.
With its Vegas-style decor and color scheme, it is one of my two favorite religious buildings in the city.
My other favorite is the temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The temple sits high, calling people to come away from the worldliness, to rise up to a better life, a better world.
The Guardian Angel Cathedral hovers down in the trenches, where casino workers on swing shift find a convenient place to pray.
Which is the better approach?
Is it better to hold up something for people to aspire to, or better to go down in the murky streets to minister to them?
The answer, of course, is both.
And, truth to tell, the Mormon church and the Catholic Church do both very well.
In fact, now, in my 64th year, I find that "both" is usually the answer that shows true Christianity.
We can't pick and choose.
We don't get to judge.
We're called to feed the sheep.
And, as far as we're concerned, everyone's a sheep.
Mother Teresa was once criticized for ministering to the financial scoundrel Charles Keating while so many other souls were writhing in poverty.
Rich people can be just as lost and lonely as poor people.
Should we minister to the rich, or the poor?
The answer, again, is "both."
Should I help my children cultivate good, solid LDS friends, or try to help them make friends with kids of other faiths?
You guessed it.
What's more important, paying tithing or fast offerings?
Should we trust other people, or be wary of them?
Years ago, our Mormon high priest group was planning a service project. I asked our group leader, Max White, "Is it better to do things for other people that they'd like to have us do, or better to do things that we think they need done?"
He didn't miss a beat.
"Both," he said.
Max White was a wise leader.
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