My family is a family of volunteers. Everyone has volunteered for something. It’s like a compulsion or something. Volunteerism was passed down to me as a teenager, and I wanted to emulate my grandmother’s gift of giving of her time, but I had to wonder about that “gift.”
While the Book of Mormon has changed 3,913 times and the Mormon religion continues to successfully evolve, one thing that hasn’t changed is that it’s a cult/religion of works. Even though I have been out of the Mormon religion/cult since my mid-teens, my neighbors continue to amaze me.
They are so busy! If they don’t go to visit their mom and dad, their mom and dad are visiting them. Or they are going to church religiously in a suit and tie with the wife in a dress and heels. Church is above their family and marriage needs. Family is above their personal needs. I have often asked myself why did my grandmother and mother volunteer so much? What drove that need?
I inherited that same compulsion. No boundaries. My first years in a Christian church saw me helping everywhere to the point where I experienced a crisis. Sometimes, I still struggle with a works versus grace kind of faith.
In my head, I know I can’t earn my way to Heaven. No amount of good works will make me a “good” person. None of us are really a “good” person. But sometimes I still strive for that elusive perfection. You know, that perfect Christian you see in Sunday School that appears to have it all together? I wanted to be her, but failed numerous times. I beat myself up black and blue, took criticism hard, and criticized harder when the person helping me couldn’t meet my standards. I’ve learned to say no.
Recently, someone at church asked me to help with something at an event. I said no. I said no to heading another thing at church. I stopped myself from volunteering for a vacant position. I am focused on one ministry. Unlike my friend, I can’t multi-task. I am a single tasker.
My lesson to you is to say no to things God doesn’t mean for you to take on, take care of your marriage, and live selflessly. The one thing that sets Mormons apart from the Christians is their love. We can love, too. We just have to focus more on glorifying God than in worrying about the color of the carpet or what kind of music is playing on the stage. Get involved in things that help you grow, but you don’t have to be the one person everyone goes to, because, in my opinion, there are enough people in one church to fill every vacant ministry position according to their gifts. All they have to do is say yes to one ministry.