Young LDS elders helping keep city clean


News Staff Writer

When Isaac Kelsey and Cameron Smith travel across Atmore and the surrounding area, testifying for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they carry a Book of Mormon with them.
For the past few weeks, the two young men have been seen every other day carrying five-gallon buckets and grabbers.
Isaac, 22, and Cameron, 20 — both elders of the church’s Melchizedek priesthood — are volunteering their extra time to help keep the community clean.
Young men of the Mormon church (Latter-day Saints) become eligible for the Melchizedek priesthood when they turn 18. It is the higher of the church’s two priesthoods and is concerned with spiritual rather than secular matters.
“These young men have volunteered to work with us to help clean up our neighborhoods,” District 3 City Councilwoman Eunice Johnson said during a recent council workshop. “We have a lot of new businesses downtown and we want to continue to try and make things look good.”
Mayor Jim Staff echoed those sentiments during the most recent council meeting, at which the young missionaries were to be formally recognized but were unable to attend.
“They are really doing a good job of helping pick up trash and keep the community clean,” the mayor said.
Cameron said the volunteer litter removal is not a part of their service to the church, although it is based on the church’s tenets.
“No, it’s not part of our service to the church,” he said. “We just want to serve others, like Christ did. We know the importance of service and thought it would be a good way to help out the community.”
Isaac’s parents are Courtney and Spencer Kelsey of Buhl, Idaho. Cameron is the son of Thane and Valerie Smith of North Salt Lake, Utah.