In keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in Matthew 25:40 who taught that “Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), commonly referred to as Mormons, are engaged in service throughout the greater Chattanooga area and around the world, longtime Mormon leader Phil Smart said..
As part of the JustServe.org campaign that is ongoing and also as part of the #LighttheWorld campaign that encouraged everyone to serve in 25 ways over 25 days during the Christmas season, local members of the LDS Church hosted various activities – including a live nativity on Signal Mountain, a Christmas musical devotional in Ooltewah, a Toy and Food drive in Chattanooga valley, a nursing home activity at Greenbriar Morning Pointe, and an on-air radio program with Cindy’s Choice.
The LDS Chattanooga Valley ward (congregation) donated toys for children of all ages to benefit the Women’s Shelter, which serves Walker, Catoosa, Dade and Chattanooga counties. Non-perishable items were donated to the Rossville Community Ministries Food Bank. Collection boxes at the LDS Chattanooga Valley church located on Highway 341 in Flintstone were filled to overflowing many times over. The congregation also gathered items from those who were not able to drop off items at the Church. They did so through the home and visiting teaching programs – programs where LDS members watch over and minister to each other by visiting each other on a monthly basis.
The youth of the LDS Brainerd congregation visited Greenbriar Morning Pointe in Ooltewah and sang a variety of carols for the residents. They played games and enjoyed refreshments together.
Mrs. Deseret Ward and Mrs. Jenna MacKay went on-air with Cindy Deering of Cindy’s Choice – a program dedicated to making a positive impact on communities. Mrs. Ward and Mrs. MacKay encouraged listeners to use the JustServe.org app which links organizations and volunteers to “relieve suffering, care for the poor and needy, and enhance the quality of life in the community.” They explained that the app “is not for proselytizing or publicity – it is simply a service to help link community volunteer needs with volunteers.”
The Christmas musical devotional in Ooltewah and the live nativity on Signal Mountain were also a success – with hundreds in attendance. In the New Year, Mormons in the greater Chattanooga area look forward to continuing to Just Serve side-by-side with friends, family, neighbors and organizations committed to “making spirits bright” all year long.