Odds and Ends: Mormons serving around the world

Published: Monday, Feb. 27 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world have been offering service, help and inspiration to those around them.

LDS teenagers in Cross Roads, Keighley, England, have been serving the community near and far, the Bradford Telegraph & Argus reported.

"The girls are collecting clothing for Ghanaians, particularly shirts and ties, while the boys are creating a film to show to the wider community." They also provide service by visiting older members of the church and befriending residents of a nursing home.

Annette Stewart, the wife of Bishop James Stewart, mentions and says of the programs Duty to God and Personal Progress, "The idea is to help them develop into happy, productive young adults."

Volunteers near Eden, N.C., are helping people find their familial connections three days a week at an LDS Church Family History Center.

In an article on GoDanRiver.com, some patrons of that Family History Center share how they got started in family history and their plans to share their findings with family members.

“It’s a lot of fun and really addicting,” volunteer Nancy Johnson said. “We have a patron who comes in and says he just gets a burning desire to keep looking. Everybody doesn’t get it — he said it’s like your own fire.”

Church members in Macon, Ga., say "losing themselves in service to others reaffirms their purpose here on Earth," 41NBC.com reported.

"Seth Hattaway and his friends get together at the church in Macon every Wednesday for activities and service projects, including building hygiene kits for the Macon rescue mission. He says living his faith through service is essential to keeping his faith."

Two Mormon men from Fruit Heights and Kaysville, Utah, have been running the clock and keeping score for church basketball games for 20 years despite having challenging developmental disabilities.

A Standard-Examiner article says that although Curtis Christiansen has brain damage and partial paralysis caused by encephalitis and Philip Michelsen has a form of Asperger's syndrome, they contribute greatly and are appreciated by those they serve.

“Thanks to people like this, church ball has changed. They run it the way it should be run,” said Nancy Tippets, the region and area director for sports for the LDS Church.

A family in Howell, Mich., was observed sharing its LDS beliefs by example and in responses to common questions in a Daily Press & Argus story.

The Egans, who attend the Howell ward, like living outside of Utah "because it gives our kids an exposure to all kinds of people, all kinds of beliefs," dad Drew Egan said.

It also gives the family members a greater chance to share their faith. Carolyn Egan said the media attention Mormonism has been getting "creates conversation that invites questions to us — and then hopefully we can clarify. Then this leads to conversation about Christ."

Email: rbrutsch@desnews.com

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