Leave it Clean

Leave it Clean

In Scouting we used to say, “The world is our campground.  Leave it better than you found it.”  When you borrow something, you do the same.  Likewise, when you use something, do the same.  Leave it CLEAN!

This came up in a conversation about people using the chapel.  As a result, I’m going to rant a little here, but it is worth reading.

My Rant

Palmyra is a destination for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Some are large groups and they desire to use our chapel for activities during their visit.  We happily oblige them if there is room.  (Note:  We WANT you to come visit and spend time here.  We love that you do, so keep reading.)

When some (not all) of these groups finish with their use of the building, it is a mess.  They don’t leave it clean.

Who has to clean it?

The members of the Palmyra Ward.  We’re not a large ward, and most of us are over 60.  When you leave the chapel in a mess, cleaning falls upon us.

You are using a House of the Lord.  Treat it as such.  Respect policies such as no food except in areas where allowed.  Respect the fact we are in the country.  Propping doors open invites critters to enter the building and throws the heating/air-conditioning off.

Please do your share to leave it a better place than you found it.


When scheduling a visit with use of our building, please schedule time to clean!

Don’t be in such a hurry to make your appointment at the temple that you can’t clean.  Plan ahead.  If your temple appointment is at 2 p.m., plan your chapel use to be done at 1 p.m. so you have an hour to clean up after yourselves.

Go through and check all of the rooms.  Empty ALL of the trashes even if you didn’t fill them.  (Remember my comment about leaving the place better than you found it?)


Respect your reservation.  If you reserved the kitchen and cultural hall, please don’t drag your social into the chapel, Relief Society, Primary or other rooms you haven’t reserved.


My Wife

My wife has the responsibility for scheduling the building.  When talking to her I asked about messes left behind.  She said if she knows of a mess, she will contact the bishop or stake president and they will in turn contact the leaders of the visiting group.  (Hurray!)

My Experience

I recall a few years ago my wife and I were assigned to clean the building the week of Pageant.  I have never in my life seen one of our church buildings this dirty inside.  The people who had the building early in the day tracked grass everywhere.  It was even on pews and seats as if someone stood on them.

This scene made me sad and also a bit angry.  It made me sad someone would treat the Lord’s House this way.  It made me angry they left such a mess for us to clean.  I remember thinking, “I hope we never have to clean during pageant week again.”


In conclusion, simple clean up after yourselves.  Yeah, this goes for locals too.  However, most locals know they will have to cleanup their mess or deal with the consequences.

We want you to come visit.  We want you to use our building if it will help provide your group with a better experience.  Our love for you runs deep.  We staff our temple with many local volunteers, and we clean our chapel every week.  Please come, visit, use our building, but be aware we need your help keeping it clean.