God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Saturday I attended a family bridal shower, and this quote was hanging on the wall in the restroom of my cousin' s home. I've decided it needs to be my motto, given the turmoil I have felt over the last few weeks.
Earlier in the week, when I was in church melt-down mode, I thought Scott and I decided that we would skip our 9 am sacrament meeting (So that we could have more Easter-morning time as a family, maybe watch that church DVD on Christ that was in the Ensign a few years ago. Also, it was our fast and testimony meeting and I really was not in the mood to listen to people say how glad they are to have prophets to follow when the world is such a scary place. My brain always reads certain things into comments like that, assuming the person is automatically thinking about gay marriage in particular.) I knew the kids would want to go to primary and Young Womens, and I needed to go fulfill my calling in Relief Society.
Then Saturday night Scott said the only meeting he was willing to go to was Sacrament meeting. So, we decided to go for the whole block of meetings, and Scott planned to sit in the foyer while he waited for the rest of us. (Ever since a comment was made in EQ the week of the "apostasy" lesson about Prop 8 and "that persuasion" of people, he has refused to attend. I can't say I blame him.)
Sacrament meeting wasn't bad. I honestly didn't listen much, because I was chosing songs for Relief Society and dealing with children who always fight over me. One man in our ward spoke about Elder Holland's talk and how good it made him feel to realize that Christ knows what it feels like to be totally and completely alone.
That is the one talk that stood out in my mind last week. Elder Holland wins again for giving the talk that impressed me the most (6 months ago it was his talk on Angels). I thought of many of my young friends who always say how alone they feel. They don't feel like they can marry someone of the opposite gender, and if they want to stay in the church, then they can't seek the companionship of someone of the same gender, so they resign themselves to the depressing thought of always being alone, or the thought of seeking companionship and thus being separated from church and God, and thus being alone in another way. Such a struggle. I wish I knew what to say. Actually, this make's me think of John's blog post, "Interviews with Christ." Check it out if you haven't already. In my heart I feel like he has hit the nail on the head. He talks about how everyone has to seek the path that is best for them and then live the best they can.
Anyway, child #3 ended up wanting to go home after Testimony meeting, so I ran Scott and the child home, and returned partway through Sunday School. Not wanting to interrupt the meeting and sit by myself, I sat in the foyer and started reading general conference talks from last week on my phone.
Jacob, who you might know as a reader of my blog, came in the door while I was sitting there (he had run home for a minute as well). He was very kind as he sat down and talked to me, knowing how I have been feeling this week. He seemed glad to see me at church, at the very least, and was so non-judgemental of my struggle. I was glad that he did not ignore me, but took the time to acknowledge and check on me. He wished me luck and said he would be thinking of me when I told him that my "favorite teacher" would be giving the lesson. (I have not attended a lesson of hers since...December, I think. And of course January's was the one I was blessed to miss.)
I was just kind of blah throughout the day. During Relief Society I listened when something peaked my interest, and otherwise went back to reading from last week's conference talks. The teacher acknowleged and thanked me for the songs I chose that went so well with the lesson. She is such a kind and loving person, full of compassion, and I felt of her sincere desire to reach out to me and let me know of her gratitude.
I did jot down a few notes during the lesson for blogging purposes:
- Someone mentioned Zion's camp, and how the men did not accomplish what they had in mind, but God did accomplish what he wanted--a learning experience for the leaders of His church.
- The teacher presented this quote from the lesson (and Joseph Smith), just as the children in the primary room next to us began to sing "I'll walk with you" : I am a lover of the cause of Christ and virtue, chastity, and an upright steady course of conduct, and a holy walk.
- The teacher spoke of how God expects us to be the best "us" that we can be, and not compare ourselves to others.
- She also mentioned Elder Holland's talk, and gave some sweet examples of past events in her own life, when she has felt the help of her own father from beyond the veil.
- Some of her final words were the thoughts that no one is brought back to the gospel by condemnation, but there is also a fine line between standing up for what we know is right and compassion for others.
Wow, yesterday during the lesson I was blah. Being at church was blah. I did not feel inspired to stay active in the church, but I was not miserable either. I did felt inclined, or maybe inspired to write down some notes, and now as I blog through and analyze the notes, I am truly touched that God is mindful of me, that the sisters in my ward truly do love me (which I already knew, but was being too prideful to recognize their efforts ).
I don't think it is time to give up yet. There is peace and serenity from church attendance, even if it doesn't come until the following day. :)