There are many reasons. And while I listen to several of my friends and acquaintances discuss how Religion is a great evil...how it is full of hypocrisy and fairytales, I bite my tongue. Not because I am afraid. Not because I am ashamed. But because it is pointless to try to convince someone who has already made up their mind. More than anything...I feel sad. To know that the peace that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings to my life will never be known by some. To understand the deep joy I feel at certain times that I can never put a price on. When I just look at someone, and know that they feel the same. It happens in my family with my sisters all the time. With my nieces, and close friends, with my husband. No words can describe it, and none are necessary.
A few weeks ago, I watched in wonder as an entire religious community made a miracle happen in less than 2 days for a good friend. I have participated in major humanitarian efforts that could never be possible with one person alone. They took place under a banner of Religion. I belong to the largest organization of women in the world...and we constantly do things to make the world a better place. In our own communities as well as in third world countries, and in far away cities where catastrophes have taken place. So what is really so horrible about religion? None of us are perfect. We don't claim to be. But we believe in the ideal, and sincerely strive to reach it. A little better every day. And while we stumble and fall, we try to apologize and recover, and persevere.
I was reminded of this ideal Sunday. Clint turned 12 a couple of weeks ago, and has been able to take part in passing the Sacrament as part of his duties as a deacon. I am very proud of him and his sweet personality and his desire to be a good boy. After the prayer was said and the boys started out with their trays of bread to different parts of the chapel, Jeff whispered to me that "it looks like someone forgot to go up front..." (the bishop is suppose to receive the bread first). The boys were all looking around, when Skylar, one of the amazing older boys, who I love, hurried over to Clint to remind him he was number one, and needed to deliver it to the bishopric. Clint was mortified. He was so embarrassed. Head down, he walked up to the stand while the entire chapel watched and waited until he gave it to the bishop. Then when he was finished, he got in line, and one of the younger boys whispered harshly to Clint to go to the back of the line. I saw him try hard to try not to cry....
Then Jeff elbowed me and pointed to President Williams...our former Stake President. Clint was standing by him, where Pres. Williams was seated. Clint had his head down, but the look of love and sympathy on Pres. Williams face for Clint...how if he wasn't passing the sacrament, he probably would of given him a warm pat on the back and a kind word to say that it was okay...then I looked around the room...and almost every face was exactly the same. Everyone in the entire chapel looking at my little Clint with nothing but concern, and love.
Clint had to go back and finish with the water. He was trying so hard just to keep it together and not cry. He finished. Came back to where we were sitting, and started to cry. Then brother Bowen got up, 1st counselor. And reminded everyone how grateful we are for the boys who pass the sacrament. Stressed how all of us make mistakes, and spoke with love directly to Clint. The 2 speakers that followed also talked about how appreciative they were to the boys who took on the responsibility of the sacrament every Sunday, and of course, the last speaker had his own very cute story about dropping the bread tray when he was a kid.
Love. Pure and simple. Real and True.
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