Sunday, April 5, 2009

We Love Those We Know

“Hold hands.” My little ones trailed behind me out of the chapel - right in the middle of a session. (This was before we could watch Conference on BYU-TV at home.) Everyone assumed we were heading for a potty break, but we went straight to the cultural hall. Even though row upon row of metal folding chairs sat empty during Saturday sessions, the audio from the satellite broadcast was still fed into the big room. Organ, choir, and prayers reverberated off the high ceiling and wooden gymnasium floor. The volume and resonance were perfect for the game we were about to play.

“Okay. Who’s THAT?” I whispered, positioning my kiddos at center court.

They concentrated on the deep voice coming from the speakers and filling the hall. (Attendance at all four sessions of conference had been a tradition for as long as they could remember and this game was a highlight, so they getting pretty good at it.)

Elder Scott!” Their little feet left the ground as they recognized the lulling, deliberate style of Richard G. Scott.

“Good job! Oh wait! He’s done! Now, who’s THAT?” I challenged.

This one was too easy. President Hinckley!” they chimed together.

His beloved tone of voice represented ALL of the general authorities somehow. The way Gordon B. Hinckley pronounced the word “grreaaat” had always impressed me; I automatically hear it to this day when I read that particular word in scripture, as in “grreaaat and terrible” or “greaaat and spacious…”

I wanted my children to love his voice (and all the Brethren) with the same intensity I did. The belief in the divine inspiration of their calling sparked to life in my youth...

My family was on the grounds of Temple Square during one of our visits with Utah relatives, when suddenly, I felt my mother rush up from behind me, grab me by the shoulders, and propel me with alarming urgency towards the Tabernacle. An old man was moving away from an open door there and people were gathering around him. With a degree of determination and boldness uncharacteristic of my mother, she shoved our way through the crowd until I was standing at his feet. I had no idea what had just happened or why.

He looked down at me. His gentle eyes never left mine as my mother panted, “President Tanner, THIS is my daughter, Ramona.” It was certain that I had never heard that kind of awe and pride in her voice.

I was so young, I don’t remember then if he said anything. I don’t remember if I said anything. What I remember most, and still can’t totally explain, is how important it was to my mother.

We were not active in the church as a family. I had never seen or heard of President N. Eldon Tanner. There were four other children in our family standing nearby. Why she singled me out and hustled me into that opportunity -- just so completely unlike her to be aggressive or assertive in any situation – baffled me for years. Sifting again and again through the details, I find it stirring that she presented me – not herself – to this Apostle of the Lord. He never heard her name or shook her hand.

Years later, my father was cooking a meal for a party of stake leaders and visiting authorities in-between sessions of stake conference. Everyone knew my dad would not be attending the meetings himself, but he was agreeable to lending his experience in the kitchen for church functions. Someone (probably me) came up with the idea of the Beehive class acting as servers at the sit-down affair.

In our look-alike aprons of yellow gingham, my best friend Becky and I assigned ourselves to the “head” table. Sometime during the course of our labors, President Ezra Taft Benson noticed my name tag. He took me by the hand and surprised everyone as he began to sing the old ballad:

Ramona, when day is done I hear you call -
Ramona, I see you by the waterfall...

My dad came out of the kitchen for the first time that day - and watched. It was certain I had never seen that kind of awe and pride in his face.

I don’t remember now if President Benson sang the whole song, or only a few lines. I don’t remember if I blushed or giggled. What I remember most is how important it was to my father. Why he stood in that doorway and made no move to insert himself into the situation – just so completely unlike him to remain in the background in any situation - has baffled me for years. Sifting through the details, I am touched that he allowed me – not himself – to receive attention from the prophet of the Lord.

***********************

The name of “Neal A. Anderson” was read over the Conference Center pulpit yesterday. Thirteen years ago he gave an address called “Teaching Our Children to Love the Prophets”. In it he describes how a group of deacons could list every player and position on the Atlanta Braves but when asked the names of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, were completely stumped. He counteracts the assertion that their message is more important than their names with the point that if our children do not know their names "they most likely will not know their messages either...

“Our family has mostly lived in the eastern part of the United States. On the weekend of general conference, we would spend Saturday and Sunday at the stake center viewing the conference by satellite transmission. Sometimes, as our children were asked to dress in their Sunday clothes on Saturday morning, spirits were less than enthusiastic. Few other young children of the stake went to the stake center on Saturday to view general conference. Yet it is when children are young that parents must be innovative in helping them develop good habits regarding conference participation. As our children are given opportunities to observe and learn the role of these special witnesses, they will receive a spiritual confirmation of the sacred calling of their Church leaders, and they will feel a deeper love for and interest in these leaders and their message.”

It is especially interesting that in this address, Elder Anderson recalls standing with his parents in a long line, awaiting the chance to shake an apostle’s hand. “I have never forgotten the feelings I had," he says, "as I met the Lord’s servants.” I also treasure those feelings, but even more impressive to me as a child, was the the impact of those occasions on my PARENTS.


Muse with me: What experiences and feelings do you recall as a child that have affected your testimony of the prophets today? How have you shared that testimony with the little people and youth in your life?

28 comments:

Hannah Banana said...

Just today Grant, Bri, and I were watching the documentary of President Monson between sessions. Footage of video and pictures were being displayed as the voice of a man was describing the life of President Monson. I immideatly guessed out loud "Elder Holland." Then during conference Elder Perry spoke. I said to Grant and Bri, I love Elder Perry's voice. Throughout conference I quietly challenged myself to write down the apostles full names in my notes before it was displayed on the screen.

I still remember that game in the cultural hall. I also remember winning seminary games where we guessed the voice of the prophets. But more importantly, those names I have come to love and the people who's names they belong. General Conference is my favorite! I long to know the brethren personally. Their teachings and prophetic counsel I listen to eagerly and try to apply to my life.

When I was around 6 or 8 years old our area had a huge regional conference. Because of my grandfather's position as temple president our family was treated special. We got to go the back room where all the general authroties were. I remember looking up at a tall man and shanking his hand - President Monson. That memory has stuck with me. But the thing that most impressed me was Elder Holland. As he spoke to the congregation, my little eyes were fixed on his face. I don't remember what he talked about, or how long it lasted, but I do remember the feeling I felt and the glow and spirit that surrounded him and the impact it had on me. I knew he was different and important. Ever since then, I have had a strong love and connection with Elder Holland.

On other occasions here at BYU I have had the opportunity to see some of these great men speak live to BYU students. Every time, I linger longer than everyone else, content to watch the bretheran shake hands with eager students and converse with other men.

I am so grateful to have living prophets and apostles on the earth today, just as there was Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah. The brethren today are just as much prophets as those men were. And we have the wonderful blessing to be so close to them and hear their words as soon as they give them. They speak the word of God, for they are his prophets, called to this great work. I am grateful to my parents who instilled a great love for the brethren that continues today and will continue forever.

Mona said...

Wow Hannah Banana!

Heidi said...

I could say so much on this. But I think it is sufficient enough for me to say that one reason Conference is my favorite 2 times of the year is because my parents taught me to sustain, support, love, and honor these leaders and the counsel they gave. To hunger for it and seek for it. To learn to live it. I hope I can teach my children to love and gain from Conference as much as I do.

Oh, I love the game you played with your children. My mom and I used to talk about how familiar and endearing the voices of The Brethren are to us. And your experiences of meeting with General Authorities reminded me of my wonderful times of meeting/being near them myself. As a young girl anxiously waiting to meet Elder Perry. Having Elder Holland in my first endowment session in the temple. Just 2 months ago having Elder Scott tell me what a beautiful smile I had. These and the others are precious experiences to me. And I do try to share them whenever I can.

Thank you for your post!

Elisabeth said...

I am having a hard time remembering an experience as a child that has affected my testimony of the prophets today. Except that I remember attending all four sessions of General Conference all growing up as well. Just the fact that we blocked off the entire weekend to make conference a priority taught me that the men who were speaking were important and that even more important was the message they had to deliver. If we had only gone to only one session I don’t know that I would have viewed it as important. But instead I knew how blessed I was to sit at the feet of prophets and apostles who had a message for me. I knew that because of the “sacrifices” we were making conference MUST be important. I am sure to some going to all four or five sessions of conference would feel like a sacrifice, but because I have always done it I have grown to feel that it is a privilege.
I worked really hard to make general conference this weekend a special experience for my little ones. As it turns out I came down with a cold and am still battling morning sickness so I spent this morning throwing up and the rest of the day on the couch. Needless to say the day did not turn out as well as I had originally envisioned. But we did pretty well considering the circumstances. While I had my three-year-old daughter tucked under my arm I tried to help her understand what it feels like to feel the Spirit. I let her know my favorite thing about conference is the Spirit I feel while watching it. I asked her if she knew what the Spirit felt like. She looked up at me and simply said, “Heaven”. I was so surprised how profound her statement was it caught me off guard a bit. I am not sure what her knowledge of heaven is, I can’t recall ever having a discussion about heaven before. So I told her she was absolutely right and that it also feels like peace and joy and all the other good feelings we feel inside. At the last general conference someone in our ward pointed to a picture of President Monson who was still fairly newly called as the Prophet. They said to Emma while pointing to his picture, “That is President Monson”. To which she replied, “No, that is the Prophet.” I am grateful that she knows who the prophet of the Lord is and that I have the privilege of teaching my children from a young age precious truths of the restored gospel.

Sara Lyn said...

I remember someone playing little snippets of popular songs and asking the youth to identify the person within one measure. Then he played voices of the apostles. Many less responses. I love the voices of the apostles. I love to play that game with myself and I've gotten pretty good at it, which is impressive since it took me a couple of years to recognize my own husband's voice without seeing him! (Obviously, I'm not good with voices.) :)

I had a "similar" experience experience to yours. My dad was involved with the Orlando Temple dedication. Even though I was young, because I had helped out so much with the open house (I believe I was under your direction for that), I got to help out with the dedication too. A friend and I pushed wheelchairs from the parking lot to the temple doors and back again between dedication sessions. Near the end of one of the first sessions, my friend's mom grabbed the two of us and said, "Come. Quick!!" We followed her and she took us to the elevator. "Get on!" she said. A man from our ward was operating the elevator and he told us that we had been allowed to be on the elevator to meet President Hunter. We waited and waited for the session to end. (Must have been five minutes.) Finally, onto the elevator rolled (he was in a wheelchair) President Hunter. After him walked President Hinckley. Behind him came President Monson. And right behind him, President Faust. It was one of the most precious experiences of my life. They looked at us and talked to us for the 20 seconds it took to go between floors. And then they were gone.

But the excitement wasn't over. My dad told us the next day that they were presenting all the General Authorities' wives there with the special temple umbrellas. My dad made sure that we got to do it! And President Monson remembered us! I loved those men so much that day and I feel great affection to them.

The apostles, prophets and other General Authorities are such great men, and I hope my children (and friends) will easily see my great affection and reverence for them. I get on that elevator almost every Friday and every time, I think fondly of the time when four of the Lord's annointed took the time to notice two young teenagers and make them feel loved.

Elisabeth said...

Oh' one other funny thing Emma did during conference. She got like 4 or 5 of her stuffed animals and dolls and propped them up on the couch so they could watch general conference too! Just shows that no one should miss out on watching conference :) She even got President Hinckley's book "Way to Be" and propped it up under them so they could read it. Too cute!

Mona said...

Heidi: Do you think it's as amazing as I do that so many of us have had "close encounters" with the Brethren??? Considering how big the church is, it just shows how much they care that they take every opportunity to meet the Saints. Thank you for sharing!!!!!!!

Elisabeth: Your parents diligence shows in you and your sisters without a doubt. And now - your children. I have GOT to meet Emma -- she is CHOICE! I am sure she could teach all of us so much...it seems (at least what you have discovered of her so far) that her primary gift is SPIRITUALITY.

Sara Lyn: I had forgotten that experience of yours at the temple!!! Of course I remember it now. That is truly REMARKABLE - what a privilege and what an impression. And yes - wheelchair pushers worked for me! Didn't I make you a "supervisor" over the adults?!? :)

John and Laura said...

My first experience with recognizing the spirit was when I was about 10 or so, and it was Pres. Monson speaking at a gen. conf. (so I was naturally thrilled when he became prophet!) but that has been a source of strength for me as I've gained a testimony. Thanks for your post!

Cole, Jessica, and Kyle said...

When I was a young woman, my mother related a personal experience to me that I'll always remember. When she was a young woman, she attended a fireside at which Bruce R. McConkie was speaking. After the fireside ended, Elder McConkie waited to shake hands with those in attendance. My mother was wearing a ring with little bow details on the sides. She told me that Elder McConkie's handshake was so firm that she had the imprint of those bows on her finger for hours afterward.

When I was a senior in high school I participated in a madrigal choir. During the holiday season we prepared and performed a Christmas program for various audiences (LDS Christmas parties, rest homes, the Temple Square concert series, etc.). Our final performance was at a rest home specifically for Alzheimer's patients. As we were standing around the lobby warming up and preparing for our performance, President Faust walked through, having just finished a visit with a relative. One of my friends stepped forward and began a conversation with him. When we explained who we were and what we were doing, he asked us to sing a song for him, which, of course, we did. We let him choose the song we sang, and he chose (to my surprise) "Deck the Hall." After we finished, he smiled and thanked us for both the song and for the service we were doing for others. It was an experience I'll never forget.

My husband served his mission in Brazil several years ago, and he was thrilled to see Elder Andersen be called as the next apostle. Elder Andersen was the area authority over Cole's mission, and Cole had the singular opportunity to go on splits with Elder Andersen when his companion was recovering from an illness in the mission home.

We have been so blessed to have these close encounters with our beloved leaders. What touches me the most is the little details that remind me that these brethren are real, individual, tangible people, just like you and I. Elder McConkie's handshake, President Faust's favorite Christmas song, and Elder Andersen proselyting with a young missionary are details I intend to teach my children so they know that the brethren they see on television are real human beings who love all of us.

Mona said...

Laura: That you were 10 is significant I think. That is the age Noah was when he received his call, as well as the age of Moroni when he received the plates. There is a spiritual awakening for many a child at that age, don't you think?

Jessica: I LOVE your mother's story about Bruce R. McConkie. I like knowing that his handshake was as firm as his famous testimony -- to me that typifies authenticity and authority.

I appreciate too your reminder stories that bring out the humanity of the brethren. At about age 10!, our oldest son attended a national Boy Scout camp with his grandfather who was serving on the Y.M.'s General Board at the time. He came home with photos standing beside Elder Featherstone who was rooming next door to them all week. When we said, "DO YOU KNOW WHO THAT IS?" he had no idea. When we explained, he exclaimed: "What?! But he was just a REGULAR GUY!" :)

The Seven Family said...

My husband is a professor at BYU. When we were flown in to Utah (from Minnesota) to interview, we had to go through a "General Authority Interview." So, the two of us were asked to come to the church office building in SLC and meet with a member of the Seventy. We were given special parking instructions - underground (apparently general authority parking). As we sat in the waiting room and looked out the floor to ceiling windows that led to the parking garage, all of the sudden we were seeing men coming in through the front door of the waiting area. We were alone there (aside from the receptionist). We were quickly on our feet as we were greeted with casual smiles and "hellos" from 11 of the 12 of the apostles. Then, as if that were not enough, the Lord really blessed us. As we went back to sit down in that lobby, we saw, out the window, 2 golf carts coming in to the side entrance next to the lobby where we were sitting. On the first, President Hinckley, on the second, President Monson and President Faust. WOW - I think our jaws hit the floor. President Hinckley must have gotten a good laugh at our expressions. We stood there watching and the Prophet stopped and smiled and waved. It was as if he knew if he didn't do something we were going to faint. We quickly waved back and watched as they all entered the building. What an experience. I don't remember much about our interview, but I remember everything about what happened in that waiting room.
... And - the first people I retold that experience to were my 3 (at the time) children. To this day, they each have a picture of the prophet and the temple in their bedrooms. They have a love and respect for the Prophet of the Lord in large part, I think, because my husband and I do.

Mona said...

Seven Family: OKAY! THAT takes the cake!!!! What a whopper! What a topper! What an experience that must have been -- something that progeny will pass on for generations if you wrote it down as beautifully as you wrote it in this musing!

Larsen's said...

Wow! What wonderful posts! When I was first married I took my first trip to Utah with my new husband and his family. What a trip...we drove in a car, his parents, brother, Jon and I and the dog! All the way to Utah from Portland, OR. Not a very comfy trip. While we were there we went to my sister-in-laws ward. She is in the same ward as Pres. Monson. We were hoping that he would be there but my sister-in-law said that he traveled a lot and the chances of him being there were slim to none. So, you can imagine my surprise as we were walking in to see President Monson walking in right in front of us!! AHHHH! I was so excited. Just being a member for two whole years!! I wanted to shake his hand so bad. My husband thought I was being silly and told me to leave the man alone and give him a little privacy but I couldn't stand it, I had an Apostle right in front of me. So, I edged my way to him and I hope that I didn't Knock anyone down. My determination to shake his hand was more powerful than my manners. I walked up to him and I tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around and I asked if I could shake his hand. He gave me the warmest smile and I had a wonderful gitty schoolgirl feeling run in me. I was so happy that I actually met and shook hands with an Apostle of the Lord!!!
I didn't have kids then, but now I can tell them that I not only shook the hand of an Apostle, I shook the Prophets hand! Wow! I can hardly believe it today.

I had a really hard time when President Hinckley passed away. I didn't know how I would react to seeing another take his place. I remember the first time that pres. Monson gave a talk as the Prophet. I had always liked his talks. When President Monson took the stand as our Prophet, it was without a doubt, that he was "The Prophet" I could feel it in my heart. It was amazing how the spirit let me know that he was the one that Heavenly Father appointed as the Prophet. I will never forget how I felt that day and how I witnessed the transfer of the mantel come upon President Monson. It was amazing.

With my children...I try to make conference a special time. We have cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk as a tradition. Then, I usually print out pictures of the Prophet and the 12 for them to color. Also, we play conference bingo. Where they put an M&M on the spot that they hear during the talks. It is hard to keep their attention for all four sessions but at least they know that those two days are special. We have tried to teach them that it is very important to get instructions from the Prophet and the speakers because it comes directly from Heavenly Father. It is a really special time. I hope that as they grow they will have the same love of conference as we do.
Thank you for your post!

Sara Lyn said...

I'm loving all these really great stories! The Brethren are so special. But something that struck me was what you said about your son meeting Elder Featherstone and saying he was just a regular guy. I got a chance to talk to Elder Faust and Elder Nadauld for a few minutes at the temple dedication. (That's another story.) Elder Faust and I talked about my grandfather's garden. (He knew my grandpa.) And Elder Nadauld and I talked about the interior decorating of the temple. I learned from them that holy people do not need to be always wearing their testimony on their sleeve. The have interests and it's okay to talk about those. You can still see their testimonies in their faces and it still feels special to be around them. (I especially love hearing some of the Brethren talk about their love for chocolate.) :) I don't know if this comment came about right, but you know what I mean. It was very comforting to me.

Anonymous said...

When I was 14 I went to General Conference, in person. I was very excited to be there. What I remember most is the hush that came over the crowd and how everyone stood on their feet--automatically--when the prophet, Pres. Benson, walked in. I didn't know what was going on, but I immediately rose to my feet and felt the spirit wash over the tabernacle. All at once, I KNEW, without a doubt in my mind, that he was indeed a prophet of God.

On Tour With Steph's Posse said...

I have been reading The Kingdom and the Crown and trying to apply the concepts in my own life. Sometimes I have a hard time picturing situations with the Savior because the talk and circumstance is so unlike society now. But as I was reading your blog, I found myself easily watching gathering multitudes in my mind as you told of your mother racing you to meet an apostle of the Lord. It made my teary to imagine that situation as one with the Savior. I could picture him so easily accessible and so greatly loved.
I even believe that Christ would have teased a girl with a song.
It is through examples such as these that we can teach our children and ourselves to be prepared to meet our Lord. By helping our minds to see the workings of the Lord through his servants I believe we will take things more seriously and value their words and works so much more knowing that they are literally working in the Lords name.

InkMom said...

Oh, Mona! What a wonderful post! I have been thinking lately about how to improve our General Conference experience, because, and I'm serious here, at least one of our children cried every 5 minutes or so throughout the entire first session on Saturday. Sunday morning was a little better, but it's very difficult to contain their energy, especially for such a long period of time. We're searching for ways not so much to contain that energy, but to maybe focus it on the experience of Conference.

Your post has inspired me to do one of my own, which is MUCH too lengthy for a comment on someone else's post. I'll try to get it up today -- I had three very choice and tender encounters through different stages of my life with Elder David B. Haight, and I feel compelled to write about them and share. So.

Again, thank you for your post. It was inspiring, thought-provoking, and, if I'm being completely honest, a bit chastening!

Sarah said...

My parents started a tradition that they were able to carry out with each of their 7 children. The first General Conference after the 12th birthday, the children got to go with dad to watch conference live. My older sister, Rebecca, was the oldest and got to go first. My parents made it such a big deal that we couldn't help but be excited about it and look forward to our twelfth biirthday just for that. I was the second one to go and the trip included traveling from California to Utah, staying with cousins!, getting up at 3 in the morning to get to temple square as early as possible to get in line so hopefully, we could make it in to the tabernacle, and ending the Saturday sessions with a trip to the "Infamous 'Purple Turtle'" in Pleasant Grove. Nothing could beat that. For some of my younger siblings were not so lucky as to have to get up at three in the morning. (They started giving out tickets ahead of time.) But for me, it's a treasured memory. The youngest, my little sister Hannah, turned 12 last October 1st and got to make the special journey with dad herself. All of us, older siblings, shared in her enthusiasm as we remembered ourselves how fun it was.

Mona said...

Larsen's: Your uncomfortable trip culminating in such a prized opportunity strikes me as an analogy for mortality and what's waiting for us if we ENDURE TO THE END!

Sara Lyn: HOOOOOWWWWW TRUE! We really set ourselves up for disillusionment if we believe the Brethren are incapable or not allowed to enjoy the same mortal experiences we do! That's the very thing the Prophet Joseph was repeatedly criticized for: being TOO cheerful, TOO playful.

Anonymous: Your touching experience perfectly confirms Elder Anderson's point that if there is the opportunity for our youth to be in the presence of the brethren (especially the prophet) GRAB IT!

Mona said...

On Tour: Wow Stephanie. I love your conclusion that these opportunities to see or just honor the brethren, prepare our children to meet the SAVIOR! Profound.

InkMom: I hope you're not too hard on yourself about the kids rambunctious behavior during Conference! You're pregnant--one thing at a time! I honestly think watching Conference at the stake center proved an advantage to keeping the kids focused, but even then it was a tussle when they were small. Take heart! Did you read my Hannah Banana at the top of these comments? THAT is what they turn in to if you are consistent!

Sarah: What a beautiful tradition - and at no small sacrifice for your parents, I'm sure. Very impressive. I'll be they'll be a mom or dad or two who'll be inspired by the example of YOUR mom and dad. THANK YOU for sharing!

Heidi said...

I'm loving these stories. And the comments about them being regular people actually reminded me of one my Mom would always tell us. She was serving in Brazil and Elder David B. Haight came to visit. It was a morning visit, and when he finished they took him to the mission home. They wanted to give him breakfast first, I guess my mom was working in the mission home at the time. So they asked HER to make him breakfast! Now, my mother had been cooking for her 8 siblings all her life. She's a great cook. And she asked what Elder Haight would like to eat--that she would make him anything he liked. And he gently said, "Just feed me whatever the missionaries ate this morning." And my poor, embarrassed Mom knew they'd had Joe's Mush. (Plain ol' dry oats with milk. Add some bananas if you want to make it REALLY special.) She pleaded with him to let her make something else. But he kindly insisted he wanted what the missionaries had had. Mom has always proudly yet with a wry smile proclaimed, "I fed Elder Haight Joe's Mush!" We kids grew up eating that stuff. It isn't amazing at all, but I think it has become comfort food for me because I always associated that breakfast with an apostle.

Mona said...

Heidi: JOE MUSH!!!! I LOVE it! That reminds me that when we spent 2 weeks in Japan picking up our missionary, all the families we ate with thought it would be clever and appropriate to serve us a favorite "missionary' dish - the one the missionaries live on. You guessed it - we ate the same dish over and over! hahahahaha. Thank you for this WONDERFUL story!

InkMom said...

Okay, Mona. Finally -- I've posted about my experiences with Elder Haight. Hope you enjoy it.

Mona said...

I'm crying! EVERYONE! You MUST read Inkmom's story on her blog about Elder Haight! It is so beautiful!!!!!!

http://imnotcrazymommy.blogspot.com/2009/04/partial-count-of-blessings.html

Elisabeth said...

I really appreciate InkMom's story. So many people might have been offended by Elder Height's earlier remark to have simply left the church. But InkMom's mother did not and that speaks of her testimony. I also think it is another illustration of how these wonderful inspired men are also, well...men. They have made mistakes along the way to perfection just like each of us must do. That mistake and the remorse Elder Height felt may have prevented him from making other mistakes. Repentance and the atonement applies to all of us, even apostles of the Lord. That realization strengthens my testimony of our Heavenly Father's plan.

Trina said...

What a great entry on my return. (the computer crashed 3 weeks ago-just after I found your blog, darn.) I read through some of the posts and was touched. As a child we were to listen Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we were able to do other activities in our rooms or the yard as long as conference could be heard from the radio. I remember sun bathing while listening to conference. Sundays, my mom popped pop corn and we all dressed in casual dresses (girls) or casual dress pants (boys) and listened from our front room. I don't recall anything about the prophets or apostles specifically but I do remember that it was important that we listen to each talk. My parents instilled in me a love for conference.

Now that I'm older I still love conference. Our kids listen to each session. I've developed a love for the prophets and apostles that runs very deep. We've been privilged to travel to temple square 4-5 times with our children and I have always hoped, somehow, we could run into a general authority or the prophet. I can think of nothing greater that I'd like for my children.

As I read Sarah Lynn's entry tears came to my eyes. Those are MY hero's, my general authorities and prophets. What an experience, what a blessing. As far as we are from them chances are that my kids nor I will get to experience that. I remember the end of the Joseph Smith movie on temple square right now. There was a girl and her father who didn't get to meet Joseph Smith. The girl made some comment about not needing to know him. She already did. That's awesome!

Mona said...

Trina: It's so true. When people are deep down good - it doesn't take a lot of personal time with them to KNOW them, if we already know the Savior. !! :)

Happy Mom said...

Oh yes!!! It was after shaking President Ezra Taft Benson's hand that I knew, for the first time, that I had a testimony. Nothing earthshattering happened, he simply looked down at me and asked, "What are you reading, little green eyes?" Up until that time I had worried. I always knew that there was a God, but what if I stood before him on judgement day and he informed me that I had been in the wrong church my whole life?! The very thought struck fear in my heart. I was only six and I worried much more than the average child (my mother wondered if I'd ever grow up to be a functioning member of society), but later that night, as the thought of "what if this isn't his church" popped into my head, I was able to dismiss it completely. I knew that it was his church. Something about shaking hands with an apostle of the Lord and looking him in the eye, did it for me. I have never doubted since.

And yes, my children know the story and have ones of their own. But I'm thinking it would be a wonderful home evening to review our stories again.