More in News
CC's Outdoor Journal; Faithful aspire to inspire
REGION- How many of you looked at the headline for a minute or so before you began to read? How many of you wondered what my outdoor column would have to do with faith? While there may be a few people in our communities who shy away from any talk of faith, church or God; we are all linked by some sort of faith.
Since I began writing my outdoor journal I have followed my heart to begin writing in a way that allowed our communities to connect with the outdoors and all it has to offer. I've had the pleasure of making some great new friends and reconnecting with a few old ones. This, I believe, is active faith.
In doing so, I have been afforded the opportunity to come up with my own adventures and countless offers to participate in various others with the already active population, and those seeking the more active side of life.
Recently, I had the pleasure of guiding three local ladies that belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Relief Society on a snowshoe outing. They had seen my Facebook page and thought that they would enjoy a day in the outdoors.
The ladies belong to the Oxford Ward of the LDS church and are trying to motivate their fellow members to get active and become healthier in life. The original plan called for eight women to join us on the excursion, but due to snow falling the morning of the outing, only the three from Bethel joined, as they didn't have far to travel.
While the landscape of East Bethel was being blanketed by snow, we ventured through a hemlock and cedar-lined trail as we gained permission from the owner of a large parcel of land to recreate there. With the ground frozen from previous day's rain and freezing temperatures, the conditions were perfect for a beginner trek.
Smith, who had never set foot in a snowshoe before that day was a little anxious, but looking forward to the experience. She was armed with a pair borrowed from Lilly and Coolidge wore a great pair of wooden shoes that proved a little tricky on the icy inclines, but she maneuvered rather impressively.
As these women are looking to make their mark on the rest of the church members and it is their job to help educate, they follow what their Book of Mormon reminds them through The Word of Wisdom of the Doctrine and Covenants' law of health revealed by the Lord for the physical and spiritual benefit of His children. It includes prudent counsel on foods that provide healthy nutrition and emphasizes moderation, which can help prevent obesity and eating disorders.
Lilly noted, “We believe our bodies are a gift from God. Part of our gratitude is expressed through eating wholesome food and avoiding substances that are harmful to our bodies. By embracing a healthy lifestyle of moderate exercise and consuming things we know are healthy for us. The benefits are reaped by our bodies and affect the quality of our lives.”
To learn a little about the LDS Relief Society; it is a group of women over the age of 18 in the church that prepares women of the church for the blessings of eternal life by helping to increase their faith, strengthen their families and homes, and to help those in need.
“Our women's group, Relief Society, has a motto,” noted Lilly. “That motto is charity never faileth. That is taken to mean, not only to bring a salad or casserole to a deserving friend in need, but also to encourage our fellow friends to never fail at the quest to live a healthier lifestyle.”
“As a group we have a variety of talents and skills such as quilting, canning and so on.”
The group also enjoys exploring the woods of western Maine on summer and fall hikes, picking apples at Gibson's orchard in Bethel and learning to can applesauce after picking all morning, kayaking down the Androscoggin and relaxing in a yoga position by a friend's warm wood stove.
On Sunday, Lilly noted, “We take a break and rest, regroup and refocus on supporting one another and sharing life together as we attend church in one of the many Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints wards, the closest for us being Oxford and Auburn.”
The morning of snowshoeing provided a time to share in the enjoyment of the outdoors, increase the faith of the group that old friends and new, who keep the faith can always pick up where they left off and enjoy new adventures together.
Smith noted that she enjoyed the outing and would love to get her husband and boys out in the future.