Saturday, December 28, 2013

What I Wish I Could Say

Dear Daniel,

Next week I will be privileged to become your new Sunbeams teacher.  While you might not be aware of class differences in Primary, right now I'm teaching the 5 and 6 year olds.  I have been with this same group of kids for over a year now.  I won't speak too proudly, but I've been content overall with keeping my cool with this age range.  There've been no explosions or embarrassing teacher meltdowns thus far.  It's a tough bunch to keep corralled, but they're a very good (and small) group of kids, thankfully.

In general I've had problems with the lesson manuals, and I've attempted to stick with the theme of the scripture noted in the lesson, rather than the endless stories the manual directs me to share to entertain the kids.

Well this week, I got hit with a stomach bug.  It's been one of the stronger varieties, and yes, I've used our oils to temper it.  But it still kicked my butt horizontal for two days, and you seem to be taking round 2 of it yourself, although only in regards to fevers and runny noses this round.  I hope you get better soon.

I'm writing a little sideways, after attempting to find a substitute.  I teach five children.  One will be out of town.  When asking the parents (first) if they could sub, two moms said they've also got sick kids, and won't likely be at church.  That left 2 parents.  One said she could, but she was also teaching Gospel Doctrine during the 2nd hour.  (SUPERMOM.)  I told her I would come back to her if I found no one else.

One dad said, and I will quote, "I'm very busy during church."  Gee, thanks Dad!  What a stellar example of Priesthood in action, stepping up to bat to participate in your awesome son's class, where I've shown up for the last 52+ weeks.  Shithead.  He's the Sunday School President.  My dad is too - at the Stake level.  I wonder if he'd be too "busy" to show up for this guy's son.

He may be kidding, but I'm not.  It's reasons like this that the Ordain Women movement has taken hold.  Priesthood holders, where the hell are you???  Besides decking up when it's time to show up for a Priesthood blessing in the middle of the night, what do you do to show up for your families?  Your kids?  I cannot ever get one man to sub for my class, including my own husband -- who by the way, is supposed to be my "co-teacher", but asked to be released.  Are you too busy chatting it up in the halls during Sunday School, to show up for your kids?  (I counted four Priesthood holders enjoying joke hour in the hall last Sunday.)  Or too busy making sure all the teachers show up to their classes under your "control" or "jurisdiction"?  Maybe you've got hours and hours and hours of endless correlation meetings before church, and organizing your every-night-of-the-week meetings takes up all of church time, so you just can't help out when the Primary teacher gets sick or has another commitment once in a while.  This is not what it should be.

Daniel, when you get old enough to be a priest, or a "high priest" at that, show up for your own kids, as well as other kids (especially those who don't have a man for a father), not just in the suit and tie, but when their teacher asks you to help them one damn Sunday out of the year.  It's really not that terrible.  In fact, I'm growingly confident that I'd rather spend my days with the Primary kids than with many of the lofty adults.

Nobody'd perfect, but "too busy" is a shitty answer.  I'll let Jesus judge beyond that.  I'll work on my Christian attitude in the meantime.  Apparently I'm not perfect yet either.


Friday, December 27, 2013

The Zoramites Became Lamanites

Dear Austin,

For behold, it came to pass that the Zoramites became Lamanites; therefore, in the commencement of the eighteenth year the people of the Nephites saw that the Lamanites were coming upon them; therefore they made preparations for war; yea, they gathered together their armies in the land of Jershon. - Alma 43:4

The other day I was led to this verse.  The first line stopped me in my tracks.

"...the Zoramites became Lamanites..."  

The situation of the Zoramites has fascinated me for what feels like several years now.  Their entire situation leaves me so much to ponder.  How is it that an entire city, or group of people, so easily can join in with a group of people esteemed as their enemies, for so long before?  It seems like an easy transition, because shortly after, the Zoramites are coming against the Nephites, with the Lamanites.  What is it that allowed them to acclimate so quickly?  Just curious.  Was it because their sins were the same?  If their worst sin was the oddity of their pompous prayer, their worship only on Sundays, and the costliness of their apparel and their shunning of the poor, how is it that they fit in so quickly with the Lamanites?  


Monday, December 23, 2013

Bald Eagles in Utah

The symbol of freedom, bald eagle, are dying in hoardes in Utah.  No one knows why.  Reported yesterday, Sunday, 12/22/2013.

The day before was 12/21/2013, the Winter Solstice, darkest day of the year for the northern hemisphere.

The day before was the eve of the Winter Solstice.  Gay marriage was deemed constitutional in Utah.  

A few days before polygamy was ruled as un-prosecutable in Utah.  

Utah is the home of the headquarters of the LDS Church.  

Utah is also the first state in the nation to allow polygamy and homosexual unions.  

The irony is the judge making the decision was appointed by a Democrat and approved by a Republican.  

Bald eagles are dying in hoardes in Utah.  No one knows why. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Moving Christmas Rendition

Dear Magdalene,

Today we showed up late for church.  Since it was the Sunday before Christmas, showing up late meant there were no empty seats, except for the front corner pew.  We made it in time to sit before the sacrament hymn ended, and all six of us squished in the small space.

The meeting was beautiful, as it always is for Christmas.  But I must report that my favorite part was the last two songs.  The full choir was in front of us.  There were two of the best piano players sitting at the piano (meaning two men with big, strong hands), an organist at the organ, three violinists and one bass violinist, all with instruments ready to go.  Sister Mecham (my fav) warned the congregation that once the song starts, "Get ready cause it's really gonna move."  The pianists began the introduction to the song, and then it began.  The large choir, the two pianists, one organist, three violinists, one bass violinist, and one large, packed congregation began singing Angels We Have Heard On High.  And it moved.

The we switched into Hark The Herald Angels Sing.  And it moved.

I don't think I've sat in a sacrament meeting so powerful.  Maybe I have, but it's been a very long time since such power has been sustained.  I think Daddy was moved from the get go, as was I.  I don't know how anybody sang, but it seemed everyone was.

Because we were in the front corner pew, we had the best seats in the house.  We got the fullness of sound from the strings, the bulk of volume from the choir, and the rest of the congregation coming from behind.  This is praise!  This is faith.  This is inspiration.  This is what a heavenly host might begin to sound like.  I envisioned that Christ could have appeared in the space between me and the choir on the podium, and none of us would have been surprised.

If that's what heavenly choirs sound like, I think I should much like to participate.  Definitely something worth sitting in the front left few for the rest of my time at church, if that's what it sounds like there.

Moving, indeed.