Randl Ockey: If you feel something, do something

Randl Ockey

It was the 1980s and our small Oregon town was in deep trouble.

Like many other Willamette Valley towns, our local economy was timber-based and this was a really bad time to be dependent upon the wood products industry. It seemed that hardly a month went by without news of a large-scale layoff or another mill closing down. With the resulting high unemployment came a host of other ills: substance abuse, failing marriages, child abuse/neglect, etc.

I recall one year in particular.

As the holidays neared, I felt a lot of concern in my role as bishop (congregation leader) that some of our families were going to have really difficult Christmases if we as a ward didn’t intervene in some way. Feeling that same concern, a very generous member of the congregation stepped forward with a large financial donation to help fund Christmas food baskets and gifts for those in need.

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In late November, I appealed to the ward council to be especially sensitive to the needs of those they came

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