Writing or reporting about Mormons from a desk and a keyboard without a field trip to a Mormon ward is like covering Congress from Kalamazoo. You have to be there. You have to feel the pulse. You have to understand the perspectives, the nuances, the motivation deeply rooted in belief. Then you’ll be better able to explain what makes Mormons tick so enthusiastically.I missed a week's posting, so this is a make-up post. The above quote is from a blog posting, "What makes Mormons tick?" in The Washington Post by Michael Otterson, who is in charge of public affairs for the entire Church.
Otterson's point is well taken.
If a reporter visited my Branch (I don't live in a congregation large enough to be a Ward) what would he or she see?
1. An outpouring of love, support and concern over someone who just (barely) survived a massive heart attack.
2. The distress of the young people who requested the roller skating activity that resulted in the heart attack.
3. The victim's wife's assurance to the young people that being at the roller skating rink probably saved the victim's life because an EMT was at the rink who administered immediate and crucial care and the easy proximity of the hospital made quick transport of the victim possible.
4. The administration of a priesthood blessing to the victim where healing was promised, giving us all faith that the victim would survive.
5.The family's including all the congregation members in the information loop on Facebook so that we could all follow his progress and recovery as well as share our good wishes with him and his family.
6. The immediate, but temporary, reassignment of the family's church responsibilities so that Sunday services could be conducted efficiently and effectively.
7. The fasting and prayers of the entire congregation so that the victim's recovery would be assured and speedy.
8. The joy at the news that the victim is conscious (albeit weak) and cracking jokes, just like normal . . .
9. The abundant food at the Sunday pot luck because everyone was concerned that with the victim's absence there wouldn't be enough food for everyone since the victim's family normally provides such a large amount.
10. Anticipation of when the family will rejoin us at church -- along with pulled pork which they promised to bring to yesterday's pot luck. I'm sure we will see them all . . . very soon.