A company recently sent me (their user) a short survey, with one question that I will paraphrase, “Do you think our company cares about you personally?” Hmm, do I think any company or its leadership cares about me? That’s like asking me if I believe in Capitalism? Or whether I think money grows on trees? Let’s not be naïve. It is all about the bottom line … INCOME.
Income is like food and water to a human. Without it, a company won’t live very long. Every resource available to the company is viewed from this perspective. This doesn’t make corporations evil and (by extension) everyone who supports their family with a salary – evil. It’s just the nature of any business (including “non-profit”) that wishes to continue breathing.
However, the bottom line of Christ’s Gospel is YOU. The goal from which all resources are viewed is whether that resource will help you and our brothers and sisters return home to live in eternal glory. Every one of God’s laws, scriptural stories, volunteer leaders, tithing dollars, and buildings are all aimed at helping YOU. Do I believe that God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost care about me personally? Yes, because I am the bottom line. And so are you.
Doctrine and Covenants 29:43, “And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe”
Every year at work we get an Engagement Survey. The idea is that extremely engaged/satisfied employees will provide more of their personal discretionary time to helping the company succeed. If your company is like a boat, they will help row it. Engaged or somewhat disengaged staff will just sit in the boat for the ride. Extremely disengaged staff will help sink the boat – either through attitudes or actions.
Personally, I feel engagement isn’t just rowing the boat. Engagement is watching where the boat is going, and yelling out, “Are you sure this is where you want to go?” Engaged is the passenger who stops rowing occasionally and consults the map, checks on the other passengers, and watches the weather to know if it is time to head for cover. Can you tell the type of employee I am? I’m sure I drive everyone crazy, “Are we sure this is the outcome we intended?”
Whether or not you agree with the logic of engagement or its definitions, there is an interesting thought, “Are we fully engaged in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” What does engagement in the Gospel look like?
Engagement is paying a full tithe, in striving to be honest about what your “increase” is, and rounding up when calculating 10%. Engagement is paying your tithing first. In an age where everything is direct deposited and normal household accounting isn’t always normal, I can only say that I have learned to round up and pay my tithing when I receive my increase. The whole year seems to go better, and it has taught me to budget better.
Engagement is finding ways to serve, even when life seems impossible. Going out of your comfort zone to greet someone. Listening to their problems. Sometimes, in silent ways, no one will know about. I don’t sign up to bring food to those in need because I’m not a great cook and I still struggle with creating dinner.
I delivered a meal with mashed potatoes to a family in mourning, only to get home and realize how salty they were when I fed the other half to my family (I still don’t know what I did).
However, if a church leader calls and says she needs a turkey roasted because she knows my kitchen is clean – I clean again and roast a turkey. That I can handle! Do you need a used washer and dryer? I had a set to give. If a pre-teen needs some extra attention, or a fun afternoon away from home, I’m on it! Hence why I’m writing this blog, a way to serve between 10 pm and midnight.
Engagement is striving to improve in the areas you know the Lord wants you to work on. I am trying to be more patient. We are trying to read our scriptures daily as a family, but sometimes it is better to just send the kids to bed. I am attempting to pray more (okay, maybe I’m “less engaged” in this area).
Engagement is paying attention in your church meetings to what the Spirit wants you to hear – which means putting your phone or tablet down!
Engagement is being disciplined and finding ways to stay interested in your calling (church assignment) when you’ve served in the same capacity for more than 2 years.
Engagement is finding excuses to be at church and at church activities – instead of finding excuses to NOT be there. I was very hard to attend church as a young, newlywed couple. But we would take turns finding reasons to be there. Now we go for the sake of our kids.
They may be difficult to get out the door in the morning, and they may make it difficult to maintain any sort of reverence during sacrament meeting, but Mom and Dad are definitely motivated to attend for their sakes. If you always attend your Sunday meetings, the kids don’t know there is another option. This is what we do on Sundays, just like going to school and work on any other day.
Notice that each of these things that demonstrate engagement are good for the bottom line – the bottom line being my salvation and the salvation of others.
You are the Lord’s bottom line. You are also a resource in helping Him meet his bottom line, for the sake of yourself and others. Are you fully engaged? What will you do to improve and show your level of engagement?
Molly A. Kerr
Molly is on a life long quest to figure herself out. Born to be and educated as an aerospace engineer she is also blessed to be a wife and a mom of two in the present, previously served as a full-time missionary, is consistently called to teach the youth in her ward, is eagerly though slowly doing home improvement as money and time allow, all while gradually learning how to be herself and find peace and balance somewhere in between. Despite her attempts to make “the right” decisions in her life, she has learned to deal with some unexpected challenges over the last two decades. Total tornadoes, really. What she has discovered is that her career has taught her a lot about the Gospel and being a better mother, and the Gospel, when applied to challenges at the office, has made her a better professional. She has also learned that it is okay to be herself, and God still loves (and forgives) her for it.