On Sending a Son to the Priesthood Session

Tonight my firstborn son went to his first Priesthood session. It feels bittersweet, but mostly sweet.

It’s often a little bit painful for me to read the Priesthood session talks–I’m deeply moved by the sense of earnestness and purpose, the talk of working hard and caring for each other in practical, unsentimental ways. I love the women’s meetings, too, but I find the stories of soldiers and engineers and pilots and heroic rescuers moving in a way that sometimes the round-edged discourse of the Relief Society meeting is not. Occasionally I feel talked down to by the Priesthood leaders who speak in those meetings, despite their fulsome praise, and more often I feel left out of a really cool project, the leftover pouty sense of exclusion from the Father and Sons campout.

But not tonight. Tonight I’m glad my son has that world to belong to, that there are great and good men who care for him in ways I cannot, who, along with his father, will teach by example what I can only teach by precept. I still weep with Hannah bringing Samuel to Eli, still feel the tearing of that separation, but I am beginning to know how she could bear it.

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  1. Kristine, this is so tender. I am beginning to understand just a tiny bit, as I prepare my oldest son for baptism. It’s a small step in his autonomy, but it’s also a step away from me, towards the greater world. I find myself grateful too, albeit on a smaller scale, that great and kind men will someday be there to receive him as well.

  2. This is beautiful, Kristine. Thank you.

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    Thanks for the touching note, and congratulations to your son.

  4. I fondly remember attending priesthood meeting for the first time with my father when I Was 12. In that session, one of the speakers talked about going out for ice cream with his father after priesthood session. As we left the meeting, I mentioned that to my dad, and off we went to Baskin Robbins.

    Tonight, my son and I went to Dairy Queen.

  5. Congratulations on reaching this milestone with your son, Kristine. I took my son to his third GP meeting tonight. I had to stop myself from just hugging him the whole time.

  6. I’m on the opposite side. This might be the last PH session I have with my boys, since my oldest leaves for the MTC in June and my second might be leaving for college in the fall – from where he probably will leave for his mission next summer. Our youngest four are all girls, so I might be alone in the PH session from now on. That’s hard to imagine after nine years of having at least one son by my side – and taking him/them to dinner before it starts (at 8PM here).

  7. Paula N. says:

    This rings so true tonight for me, too. My son Spencer turned 12 on Thursday, so this afternoon I sent him off to the priesthood session with his dad. *Sniff.* I should have told DH to take him out afterward, but instead they went to the grocery store for me. LOL.

  8. Beautiful thoughts, beautifully expressed, Kristine.

  9. Ray–

    Interesting note there of 9 straight years with a son by your side. Looking at it from that perspective, I’ve had my son by my side for two years running now, and have 17 more years before the youngest will be 19.

  10. Norbert says:

    I was thinking about this post when I went to our tape-delayed priesthood session this afternoon, feeling that these great and good men really do care for your son, all of our sons and daughters. May God bless you and him.

  11. As the father of only daughters, I feel a little left out of the whole generational/joining-up/moving-on aspect of the general priesthood meetings. Last night, I found that I just didn’t have the heart to truck along with our deacons, teachers, and priests, as they headed out for ice cream with their dads or whomever. I don’t often miss not having boys around the house, but last night was one time I did.

    On the positive side, this year will be my first as a Girl’s Camp volunteer. I figure I’ll be putting in the better part of a week at Girl’s Camp every summer for the next fifteen years or so.

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