Why We Go

Church was good today.

Our ward’s youth returned last night from a re-enactment trek to Martin’s Cove, and the sunburned, tired, but touched faces graced our stand this morning for a special testimony meeting. I’ve heard people talk about re-enactments being a kind of minor emotional manipulation, but if that is the price for the stunning and beautiful words that filled our chapel this morning, I think I’m OK with that. In small doses.

Certainly there was some emotional tweaking going on, but since I’ve never been to girl’s camp or heard the lesson on keeping your gardenia white, accompanied by props, I have nothing with which to compare.

It may be old hat to some of you, but I never realized in doing the Trek, each of the youth were assigned a real person, with real history, for the walk- and lived or ‘died’ based on that history. (I wonder what the real people think.)

What I heard today from the pulpit was more actual testimony than I have ever heard at any FT Meeting. There were no thankimonies. There were no sly smiles and odes to friends. There were brilliant faces calmly and beautifully bearing real testimonies of Christ being our Savior, of the divine guidance of this Church, and of it’s principles and ordinances.

In the second hour, our lesson was on being the stewards of our children. The Lord has not given up His parental rights or interest in these little ones- only allowed us custodial rights in mortality. This thought, though not new, hit home today. Considering my children, literally, on loan from the Lord, causes a subtle, but profound, shift in parenting. Thinking this way makes me so much more of a teacher, so much more accountable, so much less likely to become angered or impatient- it brings so much goodness.

I have no idea what happened third hour, because my 15 month-old daughter was wild and ready for a nap, so we paced the halls. But I didn’t mind.

Church was good today.


  1. Thank you, Tracy. This is wonderful.

  2. Ditto. Wonderful, Tracy.

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    Terrific, Tracy. I admittedly sometimes get a bit jaded, which is to some extent a function of being so long in the tooth in the Church and having seen and heard it all before, multiple times. The freshness of your perceptions and perspectives is very inspiring to me.

    And I certainly agree that anything that can reach young people and bring them to actually testify, not in a rote formulaic way but riffing on real, lived experience, is a good and desirable thing.

  4. Tracy,

    I always enjoy seeing the gospel through your eyes. Thanks.

  5. Steve Evans says:

    Tracy, people blog for various reasons — information sharing, something to pass the time — but really, the reason I blog is to be associated with someone like yourself, or Kevin, or J., or Kristine, or Ronan, or any of the Browns. It’s a wonder to me. Thanks!!

  6. Thanks, Trac. I had a good Sunday, too, and I owe it to myself and my testimony to recognize it and record it.

    I was just thinking about the report from Sunstone of Russell’s comment, that blogging is like an extension of conversations one has in the foyer of one’s own ward house, and as I skim BCCs active posts over breakfast (at the same time most of you skim in your pajamas), I thought about the fantastic variety of conversations we have and, to echo what Steve said, the quality of association with good people honest and caring enough to share real experience and sincere ideas.

  7. Hmmmm… I think we live in the same stake. Sounds like what our youth did this past week too. And there was at least one really good testimony shared today. Wish more sacrement meetings could be this spiritual.

  8. Antonio Parr says:

    I, too, had an uplifting church experience yesterday. When the LDS Church is good, it is very good, indeed. At its best, I must remind myself that if I am not willing to endure the mundane, I will not be around to experience those moments that carry me right to heaven’s gates.

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