17th Annual Joseph Standing Walking Marathon Is Saturday

Sunday, November 8, 2020 - by Phil Smartt

The 17th annual Joseph Standing Marathon for Walkers will be held on Saturday.  Start time for the entire 26. 4 miles is 4:30 a.m.  Second leg start time for 10 miles is at 10 a.m.  Both segments start and finish at the Joseph Standing Memorial located at Standing Road in Tunnel Hill, Ga. 

Entry fee of $15 covers cost of T-shirt, snacks and water along the walk.  A pot-luck dinner at the Memorial begins at 1:30 p.m.  The event is sponsored by Ray Law Firm and Servpro.  

This is not a charity fundraiser nor is it intended to be a for-profit event.  It is a community event for walkers and also a reminder of Joseph Standing, a young missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who was called to spread the good news and glad tidings of Jesus Christ in the Southern States mission.  He was killed near Varnell, Whitfield County, Ga., 141 years ago on July 21, 1879 at age 24.  

In Dalton, 12 miles south of Varnell, a congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established in May 1978.  In 1983, a temple, the first in the South, was dedicated in Atlanta.  A Bishop’s storehouse is also located in Georgia where first response disaster aid is shipped throughout the South.  For example, more than 45,000 pounds of aid was sent to Chattanooga from the LDS Bishop’s Storehouse in Atlanta in response to COVID-19. 

What is a Bishop’s storehouse?  Storehouses are operated “almost exclusively by a staff of volunteers and provide many of the same services as any retail food store – [including canned goods, condiments, cooking products, fresh produce, milk, meat, and pasta.  Personal hygiene products and household cleaning supplies are also available].  But not one [Bishop’s storehouse] has a cash register,” the late President Thomas S. Monson explained.  “These are goods that money cannot buy.  No price tag is put on the time, effort, and love so generously contributed to the common good of those in need.”  

Storehouses are “filled with commodities provided by fast offerings and other generous donations from members” and are based on God’s plan since Old Testament times to “bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” (Malachi 3:10).  These contributions make it possible for “food and supplies from the bishops’ storehouse to be sent – at a moment’s notice – to those affected by natural disasters, wars, or economic crises” (see ProvidentLiving.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).  

In fact, helping food banks across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic is “now the biggest humanitarian project in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” officials said (Deseret News 6/30/20).  So far, “The Church has provided pandemic-related aid through more than 630 projects in over 130 countries,” according to Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse. 

In addition to providing temporal aid, the Church invites all to come unto Christ.  Today, the Church has more than 16 million members and some 65,000 missionaries serving in major cities and small communities around the globe.  Just like Elder Joseph Standing, they proclaim that Jesus Christ lives and loves us.  

Some 150,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days reside in Georgia and Tennessee, including Harry Ray who came up with the idea for an annual walking marathon starting at the site of the Joseph Standing Memorial.  We invite all to walk with us – in celebration of community, unity, goodness and grace.  To register, email your name and number to Harry Ray at hbr@hbrlaw.com. 



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