I grew up around Mormons in Utah (where there are many Mormons) but have spent most of my adult life amongst the church members of Scotland. But there are some traditions that transcend cultures. In times of crisis or change, we show our love by bringing food.
Let me put it this way: after the birth of each of my children, I didn’t have to cook meals for at least a week. I remember vividly the tuna casserole that was waiting on the doorstep when I arrived home from the hospital with my first baby in tow. Not having to worry about what we were going to eat that night felt like a big blessing. This was repeated each time I had a baby (and I’ve had three!) At my most vulnerable and tired, my friends and fellow church members showed they cared in a very tangible way. There have been opportunities for me to return the care. I’ve prepped meals for those who have just had babies, who are receiving treatment for cancer, moving house, and for those who are grieving. There is nothing that we feel a hot meal can’t fix. It is a simple way of saying that we care and want to help.
I’ve even extended this beyond my Mormon circle of friends, bringing meals to neighbours and friends who have had babies and bereavements as a way of showing my care. I don’t know if they knew what to make of my gift of French bread, pasta and sauce, but to me it was an emergency dinner kit to be used on those days when you just can’t find your way through to the kitchen.
We take very literally the lesson taught by Jesus Christ taught in Matthew 25:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
So if a Mormon turns up to your door with a casserole or a pot of soup, it’s our way of saying that we care.