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'On Faith' Forum: 'Pure Religion' in Wake of Utah Wind Storm

Davis County Utah community members clean up debris from an 8 December wind storm

A 1 December wind storm with gusts of more than 100 miles per hour caught many northern Utah residents by surprise. In its wake were overturned semi-trailers, toppled trees, downed power lines, busted fences and a host of other scattered debris.

In his Washington Post "On Faith" forum column this week, Michael Otterson, Public Affairs managing director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), tells what it was like to be a part of the storm cleanup in a Christian community the following Sunday, 4 December. Instead of attending regular Sunday worship services, Church leaders canceled meetings in affected areas and directed Latter-day Saints to help clean up loose debris (both their own and others') before another forecasted wind storm that evening.

This experience, Otterson said, made him think of the phrase "pure religion" (James 1:27) from the apostle James in the Bible.

There was something extraordinarily touching about thousands of people, Mormons and their neighbors of other faiths or no faiths at all, working side by side in a unified display of mutual caring and sharing, even though we normally all get along well. Something special comes from serving together.

Read more at "On Faith."

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