Raising the Roof and Building the Faith

  • 3 March 2011

Article Highlights

  • The Ogden Utah Stake’s “perpetual service committee” is improving their neighborhoods one house at a time.
  • They have completed dozens of roofing projects.
  • The projects have been a blessing to both those served and those serving.

“It is the most rewarding thing to watch these people give so much in time and talents with such devotion because of their love of God and Church.” —Shaun S. Myers, president of the Ogden Utah Stake

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A few years ago, when Peter’s roof was badly in need of repair and threatening to buckle under the extreme bowing, he began looking for someone to repair it. He could pay a little money for the work, but no one seemed willing to take the job.

See welfare in action in this story of a stake in Ogden, Utah, USA, that came together to repair a local member’s roof.

Peter wasn’t looking for a handout, but one day 11 men from the Ogden Utah Stake dropped by to give him a “hand up.” Five of the stake’s 10 units are located in inner-city neighborhoods like Peter’s. 

Several years ago, the stake formed a “perpetual service committee” with the goal to improve neighborhoods in their area, one house or one yard at a time. This was just one project out of dozens within the borders of the Ogden Utah Stake.

“It’s a humble part of town,” said stake president Shaun S. Myers. “Many of the people in the area are self-reliant and independent, but they don’t have the resources to do some of these projects.”

Matching the needs with the resources—members’ skills and a committee fund that members slowly pay back after their homes are worked on—the stake has completed about two dozen roofing projects in the last two years. 

“As we do these projects, we also train others to do the projects themselves,” President Myers said. “They learn from professionals, and the bonding that takes place between those serving and those being served is immense.”

The day the committee showed up on Peter’s doorstep, they accomplished shingling and trussing a roof.

“Why did so many people come to do something for me?” Peter said. “The answer is because they love Jesus Christ. God sent them, and now the roof is in good shape. This is a miracle.”

Part of the “miracle” that takes place as the houses and yards are changed, though, goes deeper. It has to do with the changes in the people themselves—both those being helped and those helping.

“It is the most rewarding thing to watch these people give so much in time and talents with such devotion because of their love of God and Church,” President Myers said. “It’s made our stake stronger and more vibrant. Neighborhoods are more welcoming. It develops leadership in our members.” 

“[Jesus Christ] came from heaven to show us the way, what we should do,” Peter said. “To be good people, the people from the Church came to help me. This is our faith.”

Since repairing Peter’s roof in 2009, the stake has completed more than 30 other home and yard improvement projects, including about seven roofs, according to Michael Slabaugh, a member of the stake’s Special Projects Council, which identifies the projects and organizes volunteers.