We have an eyebrow-singeing topic to begin today, but first let’s end with two last letters about meetinghouse cleanliness.  Be sure to read on, however, because there’s a desperate reader who needs your help.

In our ward, each organization has a month to clean the building; for example: HP all Saturdays in January; Relief Society in February, Primary in March, YM/YW in April, Elders in May, and so on.  Each organization cleans the building twice a year.

We have index cards listing tasks to be done.  They are color-coded and labeled: some tasks for every week, some for every other week, and some for only once a month.  The back of the card is signed with the date it was completed and the initials of the person doing the work.

The head of each organization holds the cleaning binder where these cards are stored, and where there is a list of ward members.  Members sign in for each Saturday they work, and are encouraged to clean the building at least four times a year.  This helps leaders issue special requests for help if they see people/families who never seem to help.  Sometimes, just a personal
invitation is all that it takes to get them to the church to help out.

I was very impressed with the system.  It is very clear what needs to be done, and the work is spread out over many ward members, rather than just a few.  The ward physical facilities rep deals with more significant items (like broken toilets or water faucets) and keeps all necessary supplies stocked and accessible.

A former bishop came up with the system, as far as I know.  I just thought I’d pass this along, as the system works very well for us.  I can provide more details if people are interested, though I suspect it would be pretty easy to figure out and tailor for your own buildings.

Sometimes, a little organization will solve problems.  Of course we still need every member to treat the church buildings with respect.  That seems to happen with less preaching in our ward when members are consistently involved in the building cleaning.

Lynne in Cupertino

Thanks for detailing a great system, Lynne.  The part about signing your name to what you have done looks similar to what you sometimes see in the cleaner public restrooms, where the time the facilities were cleaned and the initials of the person doing the cleaning are posted for everyone to see.  I’ve always thought that was a great way to keep a restroom clean.  If you hold someone publicly accountable for his work, the quality of that work tends to improve.  What a good idea to extend that to a ward setting!

By the way, thanks for letting me know that the end of my last column was truncated.  By the time you read this, I hope the problem will have been fixed.

Before my husband passed away, he was assigned to see to it that the ward was kept clean.  The bishop had him come in as part of the welfare committee that met each week.  The able-bodied people who came in for church assistance were asked to participate that week in cleaning the building.  

My husband was disabled and on oxygen, so even though he was not able to physically do all of the cleaning himself he did what he could and then would oversee the others as they worked.  They usually cleaned on Friday nights.  Everyone was supposed to clean up after themselves during the week, and after meetings on Sundays things were picked up.  

By doing it this way, people needing help were able to provide service for the help they received, and my husband had a calling he was able to fulfill without harming his health.  Anyone requesting assistance who did not show up to work (without a good reason) was denied welfare help because they were just wanting to “take” and not willing to “give.”  The bishop was able to weed out those who were just using the welfare system for whatever “freebies” they could get from the Church.  

The two wards in our building were supposed to rotate every other month.  The other ward could not seem to get the job done properly by just appointing someone to do it, so our ward took over the building assignment on a permanent basis because our system worked so well.

  The able bodied members who really needed welfare assistance were more than happy to help keep the building clean, and they and my husband were proud of the job they did!  It was a “win-win” situation.
Ogden, Utah

What an example your husband was, Jean, of serving even though it was difficult for him to do so!  I think all of us can learn from the lesson he taught.  Some of us may think it’s inconvenient to clean the ward meetinghouse, but it can and should be done even though it takes a little personal sacrifice.
Thanks to all of you who responded about ward meetinghouses.  I think you’ve helped people throughout the Church with your suggestions.  But as promised, it’s time to move on to another subject.  This subject, I fear is not for the faint of heart.

Read on to see what “Three is NOT Company” has to say:

About 4 or 5 months ago an “old” girlfriend of my husband’s contacted him via Facebook.  (He claims that they never dated but spent a lot of time together, and he even met her parents in her hometown.) They quickly became reacquainted, to the extent that he gave her his phone number and a “secret” FB account that they can chat on without raising suspicion.  

They text constantly to each other.  In one month’s time there were more than 5500 texts on one side alone.  He went to see her and though they say nothing wrong was done, they spent anywhere from 3-5 hours alone in public places.  (This was a 15-hour drive.)  There is far more to the story, but suffice it to say, I am brokenhearted.  
Have any of our Meridian sisters faced this?  How did you overcome the problems associated with it?
Three is NOT Company

This is a serious problem, Three, and the victims are not just the women.  That being the case, I hope that any of you who have experience with this problem — either as the one being rejected or as one who has been part of the emotional infidelity — will write and offer suggestions and help.  People need to know how to keep these situations from developing, how to extricate themselves from a situation that has already developed, and how to react when a spouse has committed this emotional breach of trust.

There’s a whole lot that can be said on this subject, so I’m guessing there will be a lot of responses.  I’m also guessing that most of you won’t be using your own names.  But no matter how you sign your letter, please send your responses to [email protected]  Be sure to put something in the subject line so I know your letter isn’t spam.  But if you have good ideas, just write.  “Three is NOT Company” is anxious to hear from you.

Until next time — Kathy

“Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity.
Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero