Sunday, April 3, 2011

Conference of Mormons


As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I am referred to as a Saint.

Makes me uncomfortable.  I, my friends, am no Saint.

Daily I do, say and think things that require repentance.

Mormons all over the world gathered together this weekend to take part in our annual General Conference.

For 8 hours we were instructed.  The hours were divided into two hour sessions.

My husband and I gathered our children together in our living room for that amount of time and tuned into the BYU channel.

We listened to talks given by the leaders of our Church, including President Thomas S. Monson.  (He is our prophet.  I super duper love that guy.)

I did my best to soak up the spirit of each message as it was intended.

At times I would feel overcome with the emotion that sometimes comes of spiritual uplift.  Immediatly my thoughts would be interrupted by one of my younguns,

"Is it almost done?"

"That guy has a double chin."

"Why does that guy smack his lips after every sentence?"

"How many more minutes?"

"Can we go to the park?"

Then one of them would irreverently pass gas and laugh loudly.

"Whoops!  Slipped out! AHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!"

You've got to be KIDDING ME! I thought. How can I possibly feel The Sweet Spirit of Love in the midst of noxious gas?

How can I be a Saint in Zion with all these rambunctious CHILDREN wreaking havoc and bedlam?!  HUH?  (One of the speakers affectionately referred to little children as "Bedlam-ites".  I dig it.)

How can I be a SAINT when there is FARTING going on?

My heart was hard.   So I prayed.

Please help me to feel what I am supposed to feel.  Help me to not freak out.  Help me to know how I can be better.

A story was told moments later by an apostle of The Church.  Elder Richard G. Scott.

He told of the time his little son had cried in the night, as he was wont to do.  Elder Scott took mercy on his wife and let her sleep as he got up and gathered the child in his arms. 

The child had thrown up. His little heart raced.

Elder Scott changed the boy's bed sheets and clothes.  He held his small child tenderly until his heartbeat returned to normal. 

He did not know that a few months later his young boy would die.

He told us how he never forgot the night he comforted his baby boy.  He told us how grateful he was for that experience.

When he and his wife left the hospital the night their son passed away they pulled over to the side of the road and prayed together.  They thanked their Heavenly Father for the years they had spent with him.  They thanked him for the knowledge they would see him again.

My eyes welled with tears.  I was filled with gratitude as I looked around my living room and saw Maya and Tyson hiding under the coffee table playing with plastic horses and action figures.  My heart swelled as I saw my older girls giggling and poking each other in the eye as a way of passing the time.

In that moment I understood the term Saint is a description of who I am striving to become.

One day (a million years from now, after a great deal of refinement) I may actually feel worthy of the term.