One of the reasons I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the holistic approach to salvation, the belief that the spiritual nature of God’s commandments affects both the spiritual and temporal aspects of our lives. As an example, my ward (cogregation) is holding a series of workshops to teach members gospel principles and day-to-day applications of industry, thrift and self-reliance. Such topics are particularly helpful in today’s times of economic uncertainty and the threat of recession.

One of the lessons from last Wednesday’s workshop involved two presentations: one on the importance of work and tips for increasing your marketability in the workforce, and the other focused on budgeting and differentiating between needs and wants. You can see the slides from the second presentation here.

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Last week our ward (local congregation) held a Halloween party in our meetinghouse. It’s an annual tradition hosted by the young women of the ward and their leaders. The kids had a ball, and enjoyed the games played in a safe, family friendly environment. My wife lead the cub scouts in a skit for everyone to enjoy. Afterwards, the kids were given the opportunity to go trick-or-treating at a number of the classrooms around the building where families like mine had volunteered to decorate a doorway and hand out candy.

After my oldest son (he’s six years old) finished making his rounds to get candy in his bucket, he came back to my door and asked if he could help hand out candy. It was a great, simple experience working with my son, handing out candy to 2-11 year olds. I can’t help but wonder about the impact it has on our children to see so many people serving and working together to carry out the Halloween party. And, from my son’s behavior, it looks like the example of serving others is rubbing off on him.

This is just one more reason why I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I recognize there are opportunities for service in a variety of organizations. But I’m grateful to be part of a church family in which values of work and service are instilled by lay leaders and dedicated members working together on an ongoing basis for and with our children.