Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ward Temple Day

The bishop declared yesterday ward temple day, and that everyone should attend the temple with their families as a gift to the Savior this Christmas.

Wish I could.

So I sent my children instead.  They went with two of their cousins, and the oldest one drove.  They had 3 family names to do baptisms for, and my daughter decided to go along, hoping she could do some temple file names. It was my son's first time, and he was nervous. I longed to go with him.

But all went well without me.  The Oquirrh Mountain Temple was busy, so they each did their one family name, and that was it (daughter was given a card from a different family that was there). Son enjoyed it and realized that I was right when I told him he didn't need to be nervous.

Now my brother and sister will do the rest of the work without me. My mom doesn't know who else to have help with the sealing.  We talked about it a few weeks ago and stood and cried in her kitchen, holding each other. I cried as I told my parents that Scott no longer attends church with us. That he is no longer even trying to get his recommend.

I'm waiting to hear from the Stake President as he talks to active LDS (with recommends) who are also members of Affirmation (or rather, talks to their priesthood leaders, I guess).

I don't know what will happen.  I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.  I only hope I can pick up the pieces again when it is all over.  My desire to hang in there is wanning, and bitterness is starting to get the best of me. I pray often for my heart to be softened, that I can forgive my leaders.  But it is so hard.

Two weeks ago the kids and I stayed home from church with Scott.  I asked the kids the night before, "Do you want to go pass the Sacrament tomorrow?" "Do you want to go to Young Women's tomorrow?" "Do you want to go to Primary tomorrow?"  Each of them told me "not really."  So we slept in, we watched "Music and the Spoken Word" featuring Natalie Cole.  Scott made breakfast for us.  Sweedish pancakes! Yum! We listened to more uplifting music of Christmas and our Savior, and our home was filled with love and peace and the spirit.  I did not get a substitute for Relief Society music for the first time ever.  As expected, they survived without me.

It was so much easier than getting everyone up and fighting with them to get them ready, having our 4-year-old ask on the way to church, "Where is dad?", sitting through meetings fighting morning sickness and hoping I brought enough food with me, facing all the smiles and "how are you"'s of everyone in the ward, some of them obviously trying harder to reach out to me since I am there alone. Some of them asking where Scott is. And I tell them the truth, and I cry. I used to cry because he was not there with me.  Now I cry because I am not home with him, and I feel like a ward project. And worst of all, facing the occaisional comments in lessons about how the world is spiraling downward, and we need to be careful not to be distracted by even one tiny thing that we don't agree with, that might eventually cause us to completely give up that which is most important to us.

What is more important?  Going to church where I am in turmoil and conflict and cry all the time?  Or staying home with my family, feeling the peace of the spirit and the love that we share. But of course staying home guarantees that I will not get my recommend back. Curses.

Please, dear God, help me figure out what to do. What is best for my children.  What is best for Scott.  What is best for the unity and peace of our family. What is best for ME.

All I want for Christmas is an answer.


Alan said...

Recommends can be had throughout your life. Family time with all the children, especially when they're small, cannot.

Sarah said...

But what affect will it all have on my children in the long run? I grew up with the church, I gained a testimony from Primary and Young Womens. I cherish memories from those times. What is best for my children?

Alan said...

It's not 100% either or, Sarah. Your kids' experience will inevitably be different from yours. They can still participate in all the Church programs for kids and youth. All I'm saying is don't stress out if sometimes you choose family time over what you know is sometimes a stressful, difficult exercise in getting to church. And why not explain to the older ones, at least, why you're choosing one over the other? They'll see your faith and convictions, will respect you even more for sharing such honesty with them, and you'll be teaching them how to prioritize and make their own decisions.

Ned said...

Dear Sarah, Scott and family,

Although I am an active church goer, when I thought of cyber gifts I could give this Christmas, not one of them invovled being in church or the Temple, although most of them could be done in either place. Here are my 12 Minutes of Christmas, written before I read your post, but certainly in harmony with spending time with loved ones and in quiet meditation and mindful doing:

1 minute of laughter
2 minutes of smiling
3 minutes of meditation
4 minutes of music
5 minutes of silence
6 minutes of showering
7 minutes of writing
8 minutes of walking
9 minutes of napping
10 minutes of reading
11 minutes of massage
12 minutes of conversation

May you and your loved ones who have done so much for all of us, be blessed with these minutes and the other desires of our hearts!

with much Christmas love,

lanabanana said...

I totally "get" your dilemma and understand where you are coming from. I will pray for peace for you.

Have a very Merry Christmas!


Gay Saint said...

You know you are a pioneer. I don’t know anyone else who has been where you are. I wish that I could be there for you, fixing your wagon wheel and whipping your oxen into shape, but unfortunately all I am allowed to do is offer encouragement, on the sideline, while I applaud you and cry with you and pray for you to make it.

We love you and Scott, and while we don’t know have the answers, we hope you find the moment where you can finally say “This is the place.”

kim said...

Stay home with your family if that is where you want to be. You can still teach your children Gods word from your home.
I stopped going to the church because of certain comments and beliefs. And even though i do not attend I read from the bible and teach my children gods words. We attend another church which is non mormon every once in a while. But I look at the way my children are and compare them to other children that attend the ward every sunday, and find that my kids have more respect and love for others and that they truely want to live by gods words even when I am not with them. My boys come home from school and tell me of the things that thier friends say and do, and that it upset them that they dont do what is right. My boys are not baptized nor will they until they understand they reason for what it stands for. So keep them home and teach them, it is written in the bible that, it is the parents job and if your child fails to hear the words and live by them it will be the parents who suffers. So keep them close to you heart.