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Listen to the pope
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Mormons need to listen to the new pope. In a speech given in a Brazilian shantytown, Francis said he wants to get rid of "clericalism," the walling off of church leaders and congregations from the community.

He wants young people of the church to get out and about and act like they care about what's going on in other peoples' lives. (I wonder if he thinks the middle-aged and older people are too set in their ways to help much?)

I can think of a few things Mormons could do:

1. Publish meeting times outside ward buildings like other churches do, sort of like a welcome mat.

2. Encourage youth to volunteer in non-denominational, multi-denominational or entirely secular service organizations. Some do, but many more could, with encouragement.

3. Open up church buildings for more community-wide purposes, feeding programs, educational activities, sports and cultural events. Maybe even move beyond disaster sheltering to homeless sheltering on a temporary basis.

I can just hear the risk managers screaming, "Someone might get hurt if the churches did that much good." Yep, someone might.

Kim Shinkoskey

Woods Cross

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