In small towns people care and look out for each other.
Miss the good old day where when neighbors looked after each other rather than turning each other into the homeowner’s association?
Devin Miller (Mountain Green, Utah)
Father and Husband
Growing Up in a small down.
I grew up in the small town of Morgan, Utah. It was a town settled by my ancestors nearly 150 years ago. I have relatives that live down the street and most of my family lives within a 5-mile radius. My wife and I even went to the same high school, hung out with the same friends, and played on the same soccer team as kids. I also knew pretty much everyone in town.
If someone had a problem everyone pitched in to help. If someone was sick, everyone took them casseroles and chicken soup. While it made dating life a bit tough, it was great to grow up in a tight-knit community.
When I graduated from high school, I went off to BYU for my undergraduate degree, and then to Cleveland Ohio to get my law degree. A few years after graduation I had a chance to move back to my hometown. While the town was located the same place on the map, it was no longer the same hometown.
There were new developments being built everywhere, I didn’t know most of the people in the community or in my ward, and there were no more casseroles when people got sick. While growth can be a good thing, I miss the good old day where when neighbors looked after each other rather than turning each other into the homeowner’s association?
Love Your Neighbor
In the scriptures, we are taught that “thou shalt love thy neighbor.” (Lev. 19:18). Why are we supposed to love our neighbors? Because, they are our spiritual brothers and sisters. As members, we often donate our time and talents to those who face disaster and devastation.
In the scriptures, we are taught that “thou shalt love thy neighbor.” (Lev. 19:18). Why are we supposed to love our neighbors? Because, they are our spiritual brothers and sisters. As members, we often donate our time and talents to those who face disaster and devastation. In 2007 the Church responded to major earthquakes in 5 countries, massive fires in 6 countries, hunger and famine in 18 countries, and flooding and severe storms in 34 countries. In total, the Church and its members responded to 170 major events—nearly one every two days for the entire year.
Why is it that we are willing to help those in need hundreds or thousands of miles away and yet we are more likely to turn our neighbor into the homeowners’ association for not cutting his lawn than we are to take a few extra minutes to mow this lawn?
Why is it that we are willing to help those in need hundreds or thousands of miles away and yet we are more likely to turn our neighbor into the homeowners’ association for not cutting his lawn than we are to take a few extra minutes to mow this lawn? Is it because we are more willing to help a complete stranger without judgment than we are to help someone how we personally know and have seen their faults? Too often as we get to know people well we see their faults and we see their shortcomings? We see that they are more focused on money than their family or they just bought a new car and are now asking for handouts. Because we know a person’s faults does this excuse use from helping them when they are in need?
President Monson counseled us that “as we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.”
To be a good neighbor you must do it yourself (DIY). If you are struggling with being a good neighbor, here are a few DIY ideas:
It sounds simple, but how many of your neighbors that live next door or just a few houses down have never even met you.
Invite your neighbors to participate in your yard sale. Everyone can use a little extra cash and it will give you some time to bond over the junk you have accumulated.
If you hear of any neighborhood news, give them a heads-up. Is there a neighborhood party next week or a book club that just started? Let your neighbor know what is going on in the community.
If you have a snow blower, take 60 extra seconds and clear their walkway. Everyone hates waking up to snow in the morning that they have to plow before work. If you are already snow blowing your driveway take a few extra minutes to snow blow your neighbor’s driveway or sidewalk. When he makes it to work on time, he will be grateful for the help.
Welcome them to the Neighborhood
When someone new moves in next to you, welcome them. Novel idea, right? Welcoming someone to the neighborhood only takes a few minutes but can make the difference between your new neighbor feeling welcome or feeling like they don’t fit in.
The most important thing is to remember to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37–39).
If we each strive to be a good neighbor by doing it yourselves (DIY), we will head President Monson’s counsel:
“We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellowmen if we do not love God, the Father of us all. … We are all spirit children of our Heavenly Father and, as such, are brothers and sisters. As we keep this truth in mind, loving all of God’s children will become easier.”