Updated: 15 Apr 2014
It’s Thursday night. My wife is at an Orem Chorale practice, so I’m home alone. I’m 3/4th of the way through a British who-done-it showing on the local PBS channel. There is a ring at the door. Damn, I hate interruptions; I’m basically an introvert and love my privacy.
An over-dressed elderly couple (who I had never met before) is standing on my doorstep. The man has on a name tag. I don’t have on my glasses, so I can’t read what it says. But it looks like an LDS missionary name tag. Damn.
They ask if they can come in. Damn. I shrug and say sure, show them to the living room, and turn off the TV. For the next twenty minutes we kibitz. We talk about my work, my travel, their lives, the design of our home, Sevier Bridge Reservoir, etc. They mention that they have talked to my wife a couple of times.
The visiting couple has a very intriguing act. They alternate sentences and the conversation seems slightly more intense than it ought to be (particularly from the wife). Their verbal interplay is somewhat entertaining. About the time the novelty wears off, they decide that it is time to leave.
So, before they can leave, I ask them why they stopped by? They say something to the effect that they are part of the “Hastening the Work” program of the LDS Church. Since I’m not active, I get the feeling that this can’t be good. But I’ve never heard of the program.
According to the Ensign magazine’s description:
It is time for all of us (active members of the LDS Church) to understand more clearly our role in hastening the work of salvation. As we make member missionary work, convert retention, activation of less-active members, temple and family history work, and teaching the gospel a natural part of our lives, we will experience great joy and be endowed with spiritual gifts to strengthen the Church in the 21st century.
And even more threatening: “As long as we reach out in kindness and love to those who need our friendship and help, we will not fail.”
When I tell my wife about the visit, she is even more frustrated than I. Her previous visits with the couple hadn’t been positive for her. It is now my responsibility to end our new “friendship” and take away the couple’s “spiritual gifts.”
I DON’T WANT TO BE ANYBODY’S PROJECT.
Yet a project, I remain. Two months ago, the Stake President (who I admire), asked me if I wanted to be my ward’s membership clerk. I travel, I love to travel, I’m frequently away from home (including Sundays). I hate paperwork. Why would anybody think that I would want to give up my volunteer work in southern Utah and Africa to become the membership clerk? Is this really the way the Lord wants His “work” hastened.