a collection of certainly special, uniquely unusual, and equally momentous thoughts: memoirs of me

Sunday, November 30, 2014

President Eyring at the Vatican

In a world where popular opinion and culture try to quiet truth and righteousness, it can be hard to know where to turn for truth and right. Truth can be hard to recognize in a world so noisy and polarized with opinions and so swayed by moral relativism.

President Eyring was invited to speak at the Vatican several weeks ago for a colloquium about the Complimentarity of Men and Women. This event and his remarks went by and large unnoticed to most of the world. They didn't know it was happening. They didn't listen.

But what he said I believe in strongly. His words are important. They are sound and they are true.

Speaking about his relationship with his beloved wife, he said, "Most remarkable to me has been the fulfillment of the hope I felt the day I met my wife...We have been complementary beyond anything I could have imagined....I realize now that we grew together into one - slowly lifting and shaping each other, year by year. As we absorbed strength from each other, it did not diminish our personal gifts.

Our difference combined as if they were designed to create a better whole. Rather than dividing us, our differences bound us together. Above all, our unique abilities allowed us to become partners with God in creating human life."

There are turbulent times ahead - times when each of us is going to have to decide where we stand and how we're going to defend ourselves and our church. I hope to always be able to speak to marriage and family like President Eyring has done. This I know to be true, that man and woman are here for each other and there will be no greater happiness than nurturing a marriage relationship.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

20 years

Twenty years ago yesterday I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

November 5th, 1994

I don't remember much about that day except that my feet were cold during the program, the suit I wore was thick, white, and stiff, and that I was worried about not sinning right after I was dunked.

For a long time I was worried about my fading baptismal memories. It seemed like everyone else could perfectly picture all the details about their day but for me it's just a faint blur with a few somewhat clearer memories. I know that my dad was the one that baptized me but I don't actually remember stepping into the font with him. I know that there were a handful of other kids getting baptized that day but I don't remember who any of them were. I know that I was upset that I had to wait all the way till November to get baptized because my birthday is the last day of September which means the first weekend of October is General Conference and no baptizing happens during General Conference. These are all the memories I have left of November 5, 1994.

However, I do have memories of other special baptisms in my life and those have helped to augment my own baptismal day.

I do remember the first time I got to go the Mt. Timpanogos temple to do baptisms for the dead. My dad also went with me then and I can remember getting into the font with him that time. We left my house at 4:30 am to do baptisms before school and even at that hour my dad got up and dressed in a crisp, white shirt and nice suit coat. He has always been handsome and still is.

I do remember my first baptism on my mission - a convert named Lettie who is still the one I keep in closest contact with. She was and is still an angel and serves in the Primary presidency in her ward. I barely spoke Spanish then but she still loved me and was patient as I practiced. She calls me her sister.

I remember the baptism of Eric who decided that he was ready after years and years of investigating and dozens of sets of missionaries teaching him. I take no credit at all for that one. Eric is the product of generations of missionaries coming into his home, I just got to be the lucky one to be there when he finally pulled the trigger. 

I do remember the Quiztian Family - all 11 of them. Finding and teaching them was one of the greatest privileges of my mission. All 11 eventually got baptized and that day was the closest thing to heaven, seeing a sea of white and knowing the veil was thin.

I do remember one of the best days of my life when Alejandro got baptized. His baptism means more to me than just about anything else. Seeing him enter the font, his hands shaking, and that twinkle in his eyes was more than I could have ever hoped for. That is the single greatest moment of happiness I have ever experienced. 

And I do remember Maria's baptism on the last night of my mission. I knew at the beginning of that transfer that there was one last person waiting for me to find them, I could just feel it. The next day we found Maria. She was oh so special. I could not have asked for a better ending to 18 long months of hard work than seeing this sweet woman get baptized. Many tears were shed as I realized that my mission was coming to an end the next day. My heart was being left in TX with all these souls who shared a part of my being. 

No, I don't remember my own baptism 20 long years ago but that's alright because when I think of baptism I think of Alejandro, Maria, all the Quiztians, and the dozen others I got to be there for on their most special day.