It's hard to imagine anything worthwhile coming from a tornado, but the members of the Brentwood and Franklin wards, Franklin Tennessee Stake, have given new meaning to the phrase - "Behind every cloud is a silver lining."
On Dec. 24, a tornado destroyed much of the stake center in Franklin, Tenn. (See Dec. 31 Church News.) But the destruction sparked an outpouring of concern and sympathy from throughout the area, and the construction of a new era of friendship and goodwill in the community.Since the disaster, many churches and organizations have called to express their concern and sympathy. There has been a pooling of good will from people in and out of the Church, said Pres. Todd Christofferson of the Franklin Tennessee Stake. The Church has received a great deal of publicity.
Local newspapers printed articles about the damage to the stake center and Church members working hard to place temporary covers on the roof to prevent further damage. TV stations interviewed Church leaders and covered the Christmas sacrament services for the wards affected by the tornado. They asked the Church leaders about family history records and about Church doctrines.
Principals and school board officials have allowed the displaced wards to use school buildings as temporary meeting places while the stake center is being rebuilt.
Two local Baptist churches have agreed to allow the stake to use their facilities for Church basketball competition, said Sid Sandstrom, first counselor in the stake presidency.
"The pastors have been very helpful and have done this out of the goodness of their hearts," Pres. Sandstrom noted. "It's exciting to see the change in attitudes."