The LDS church has an elaborate welfare system in place. In stark contrast to most government systems, the church focuses on self-reliance. First, it teaches the value and moral responsibility to work toward self-reliance. Second, it provides resources to learn about employment opportunities, financial management, food storage and other emergency preparedness, gardening, maintaining physical health, education, etc.
The church system also centers on volunteer donations and service to others. Members are encouraged to give their time, talents, and resources to lift and help those in need. One of the ways they do this is through the church welfare farms and canneries. At the farms crops are raised and harvested and sent to the cannery to prepare for use. The cannery has a dry pack side for wheat, beans, milk, etc., and a wet pack side for meats, vegetables, jam, etc. All sorts of healthy foods are produced.
Over my adult life, I have served dozens and dozens of shifts in the cannery. Hairnets, aprons, and gloves are part of the job. Standing for hours is required. It’s messy work and akin to working any other industrial food-service job. But there is one enormous difference. In this cannery, we aren’t working for a paycheck. We are all working together — in various positions around the assembly line — to serve others, to help others, to provide necessities for others.
In any area of life, there is synergy in real teamwork. When each person in a group truly give his/her best to the cause, the result is far more than the sum of the parts. But when the energy of teamwork is combined in service to others, I sincerely believe that God steps in to add even more.
Teamwork is magical. Teamwork in service is miraculous.
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