Church began at 9 am instead of 11 am. Every new year, the time changes. I like church in the mornings, as long as I sleep well beforehand. But I didn’t sleep well… I spent the night from 10:30 p.m. to 2 am talking to my parents. I even snuggled with my dad. I don’t hug my parents often because I’m weird about that (which I hate), but it was one of those nights where I just wanted to talk and snuggle. The next day I walked into Sacrament Meeting with half open eyes and a dress that seriously needed a lint roller.
It was the first Sunday of the month, which meant testimony meeting and fasting. Maxwell kept rocking back and forth on the bench.
“Do you need to pee?” I whispered.
He scowled, “No! I’m hungry. And I want to eat.”
“You chose to fast.” I said. “I heard you this morning. You told everyone you were going to.” He rolled his eyes at me and stuck his tongue out. I smiled and nudged him. He went on rocking.
Church members got up and shared their testimonies. It wasn’t a weird testimony meeting. I felt warm and at peace hearing the words from the members. Teri also got up. Teri is a year older than me. She has a brain tumor. She said that though her life is difficult right now, she must have faith. If you have faith, she said, you cannot fear. The two do not coexist. I felt that warm peaceful feeling overwhelm me. She was right.
My favorite scripture is in Doctrine and Covenants (one of the 4 books of scripture used in the LDS church) chapter 34 verse 11. It says, “If you are faithful, I am with you until I come.” Although I know that I am an anxious person, lately I have feared life and the future more than any time before. It is important to have faith in God and in yourself. I had forgotten that.
Sister K, my Young Women’s advisor, got released. She was a beautiful and powerful teacher. I loved her and looked up to her. Now another woman, Sister Madd, will be our advisor. She and her husband are my Sunday school teachers. I am excited to be with her for both the second and third hour on Sundays.
We had a combined lesson for Young Women’s. All of the beehives, miamaids, and laurels were there. I looked at the little beehive girls who just turned 12 and the miamaids who were getting into black eyeliner and boys. Then there was Miranda and me, the laurels, getting ready for college and waiting impatiently for independence. I thought about Tia, Mikell and Andrea, who were laurels when I was young. They were beautiful girls and I always wanted to be just like them. I remembered them making time for Wednesday activities, even when they were older. I decided I’d go to Young Women’s on Wednesdays more often.
Another thing. I’ve decided I don’t want to leave home without having a strong testimony of the good ol’ BOM. The Bishop’s yearly challenge is for us to read the Book of Mormon. I’ve read it a million times before, but this time I’m going to sink my head into the stories and really try to understand. I have a testimony that church makes me happy, that things like the Word of Wisdom and the Plan of Salvation are true, but I don’t have a strong testimony about the Book of Mormon. When I read this time, I will not be cynical, but keep my heart open. I will ignore the things that bother me about religion. I will notice how I feel as I read and after I read. I will pray and ask to know the truth.
It was a good Sunday to start off my week.