Over the last couple of years my wife has been the Compassionate Service Leader for our Relief Society. One of her mandates has been to serve those who truly are in need to focus our ward’s limited resources where they can do the most good. In doing this, she has nearly eliminated the “meals for childbirth, health problems, etc.” that seems to be a hard and fast rule in the Church except in circumstances where there is truly a “need” and what an uproar that has caused. Now it is not because my wife has a problem with giving meals for people who have babies, a surgery, etc, but given our wards limited resources, there appears to be, at times, some “wasted” service.

Let me give you a few examples. A few years ago, a woman in our ward had a baby. We volunteered to bring a meal. The woman called us and asked us to bring enough for 6 people as her parents and sister and her husband were visiting. I and my wife were both working intense full-time jobs at the time and had to run home and frantically cook something and take it to the house, while the 5 healthy adults stood around waiting for us to bring them their dinner. Another time, a woman in the ward had a minor surgical procedure. Her husband took time off of work (they had no kids) but we were asked to bring a meal. We had to stop on our way home from work and buy some sandwiches for them. We were appalled that the husband (who was a physician so clearly capable of cooking) was home watching TV while we bought their dinner and delivered it. Were we blessed for serving? Maybe. Was I bitter about it? Yes. Certainly I am to blame for my attitude (and recognize that is part of my problem), but I also think that my time could have been better spent helping someone in need. For example, I have brought dinners to single mothers who have had a new baby, or to a couple with a new baby that was in intensive care and I felt that I was truly serving and felt good about it. In another instance, when a homeless shelter needed volunteers to cook in the kitchen, I had a wonderful experience. Effectively, in my mind it seems there is “wasted” service in the Church. Does it matter or do I just have a bad attitude?