Yes I know Heavenly Father loves me


When I first returned home in April, I was attending my parents' ward. This is the ward I grew up in and, until very recently, was mostly old people. Sadly, a lot of the people who were there when I was young have moved or died, and there's been quite a bit of home building in the boundaries, so now we have a much large contingent of children than has been the case in the last few years. I felt very out of place in this ward. Partly, this was because I'm single and the only one of the folks my age (there were twenty of us or so) still living at home. Oh, and there were guys in the Elders Quorum who were younger than me, happily married and already producing offspring. So, it was awkward.

I considered attending the local singles ward, but had my hesitation, most notably that I wanted to be left alone when not in church meetings themselves. Another drawback to moving was that I really, really liked the guy just called to be the bishop of my parents' ward. Since it seems inevitable that I will have to shrive every so often, I was tempted to stay and just suffer the uncomfortable questions from people who keep forgetting how old I am and/or the generalized lack of integration into my Elders Quorum as an unmarried guy. Then we had a particularly bad lesson about raising our kids properly and I knew I had to get out.

My experience at the singles ward has sort of been hit or miss. The lessons have been illy prepared and not interesting, sacrament meeting is held last, and my records only arrived this week, after letting them know over two months ago that I'd be attending this ward. Oh, and I've been given a calling that dangerously approaches the made-up camp. Despite these bumps and bruises, I felt sort of compelled to stay in the ward. I'm not sure why, and, like all my crazy spirit-driven initiatives, I don't really look for answers.

But I may have found a possible reason yesterday. Remember that ineluctable shriving of mine? It happened yesterday. I met with my bishop and had the standard talk. But his responses were far from standard. I wasn't sure how I felt about this guy. Whenever he's conducting, he's always really funny and since Mormons aren't known particularly for their pulpit humor, this made me furrow my brow a bit (metaphorically and literally). However, yesterday, he managed to put the words "kick you in the nuts" appropriately into the mouth of deity and said a story about President Packer caused him to think, "what a sanctimonious twit". He also gave surprisingly good advice grounded not so much in the spiritual mantle he bears but in his experience as a person, which I really appreciated. Lastly, he swept away one of my greatest frustrations with church policy with a promise to help me get to the temple ASAP.

It's little times like these where I'm reminded that my testimony is grounded not only in graham crackers, cultural inertia, beautiful writings and answers to seemingly inane prayers. I really think God's trying to help me here. Here's hoping I'll allow that help to stick.


Petra said...

Huzzah. I'll join in that hoping.

Samantha said...

For reasons of my own, I've been following your blog for some months now. But I have to say that I'm happy to hear your bishop sounds as though he's thinking of how he can be of help to you, rather than how you need to change to fit the mormnorm mold.

And now I'll just slip away and lurk some more...

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I just discovered your blog, and it made me laugh out loud. Thats rare. Glad to hear you have a good bishop, its so nice when that happens.

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