Monday, October 15, 2012

Never leave your Religion at the door

I had a neat opportunity since moving to Salt Lake, and specifically this last Sunday.  I reside in the Salt Lake City 1st ward.  This ward was created by Brigham Young in 1849.  It was the 1st ward ever.  I also live in the house that Gordon B. Hinkley was raised in.  The amazing thing about all this, is yesterday for the 1st time the 1st presidency of our church made a decision to adjust the wards in the Sugarhouse branch.  In 1930 this branch had over 15,000 members of the church.  Today we have a little over 3800 members.  For ever 12 people that live in the boundaries of our ward there is 1 member of the church.  My ward that I have been going to is one of the smallest wards I have ever been in, and I live in Utah; you know, Mormonville.  :)  

Yesterday at the meeting I sat by a woman who grew up with Gordon B. Hinkley. She told me about him as a child, and how even as the President of the church he would come back to that ward and share his testimony.  He would go and visit the elderly women that he knew, and of course his wife who grew up across the street was always there as well.  It was amazing to hear these stories.

As I sat in that meeting and learned that my branch of 7 wards was going to be cut down to 4 wards to make bigger wards, I was floored.  Now instead of 1 in 12 it will be 1 in 6.  I was touched by the things these men said, by the tenderness they had while sharing this news to women and men who have lived in this area since the 30's and 40's.  It was amazing to me that President Monson himself wrote a personal letter to this stake letting them know that this change was his decision and that is was the will of the Lord.  

I watched the ladies cry, and hug each other, and then I listened as so many of them stood and shared their testimony with me.  The lives that these women have lived blew my mind.  They were here when the church was brand new and just being formed, and they have stayed righteous Latter Day Saint Christians their entire lives.  

I was touched by the spirit of that meeting.  I was touched by the love this branch had for one another, and I was touched by the love the bishops, and stake president had for their congregations.

Through this experience I learned an amazing thing.  I am the minority where I live now.  For the 1st time in my life I am on the outside looking in, and it's vital that I live my religion every day.  These women taught me yesterday, that you need to live your religion 100% of the time no matter where you are.  I'm grateful for their love, their amazing examples, and for the opportunity I had to listen to these amazing women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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