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Grateful To Be Scrubbing The Toilets

April 23, 2019

Serious question: I heard that the Mormon church makes its members clean the church buildings. Is that true?

Yup. It’s kind of a volun-told opportunity.

That’s horrible. That church is worth billions of dollars. They can afford to hire janitors.

Sure, they could. But, as a member, I’m grateful they don’t.

This post is not about the Mormon church. (Which prefers to be referenced by its full name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) I’m also a member of the Masons. We also volunteer to come down and do work on the Masonic temple. Despite, what you may think, the Masonic order is not sitting on a hoard of treasure. Still, I’m grateful that the lodge doesn’t hire all the maintenance and custodial work done.

But, this is also not a post about the Masons.

You are probably a member of an organization like the Masons, or a church, or some other civic group. My friend has been a member of the Kiwanis club for years. They are trying to eradicate polio. If they have buildings I wouldn’t be surprised if my friend helps clean them.

There are many reasons I like scrubbing the toilets. Okay, I don’t actually like scrubbing the toilets. But, I like that the church isn’t paying someone to scrub the toilets.

First off, the church, and the Masons, and the Kiwanis and the Lions and the rest of them, do lots of charity work. Some people say not enough, but I wonder if it will ever be enough for some. I don’t do a lot of charity work. I donate money to the church. I buy tickets for the firemen or policemen or whomever. But, I’m not flying to Africa to feed the starving children. I’m not headed to India to help innoculate a village against polio.

Do I wish I could go help with those things? Sure. Can I help with those things? Yes. But, not by doing the work with the poor and needy, but instead by freeing up money that the church, or the Masons can use to help the needy. Because I believe in the mission of the organizations I’m associated with, I am happy I can do my small bit to further that mission. Even if it’s just scrubbing toilets.

When we go to clean the church, we go as a family. Occasionally there are only a few families there. My family is pretty big, so we can do more than our share. It’s good for my kids to see our family helping. There have been times in the past where we were doing pretty badly as a family. I lost my job. We had tons of bills. And the church was there to help us. I want my kids to see that we can, that we should give back when we have the chance, even if it’s just by scrubbing toilets.

This type of service is also helpful because it plays to each person’s strengths. Even our smallest children could contribute. They could empty a garbage can, or wipe down a blackboard, or pickup trash. As they got older they took on additional tasks. Washing windows, or vacuuming floors. Or sometimes, just scrubbing toilets.

Could my organization, be it the church or the Masons or whatever, afford to spend the money to have someone scrub the toilets? Sure. Is that the most important use of their money? Probably not.

Look for opportunities to serve. It doesn’t matter if it’s in church or a homeless shelter or just helping a neighbor.

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
– Muhammad Ali

Call it “pay it forward” or Karma or “what would Jesus do.” But, we are all of us tied together.

Thos are just a few of the reasons I’m glad my church gives me the chance to just scrub the toilets.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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