Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I have had the hardest time putting into words what I would like to say about this man. He has been a wonderful influence on my life. Even though he was a leader of millions, he seemed like everyone's best friend, or an extra grandpa or something. At least that 's what he seemed like to me. Many have written tributes to him, just google and see for yourself. His accomplishments were many and varied. Let me tell you, this man did not have ADHD. I admire his focus and drive so much. But I admire his love and charm even more. I loved how he could chew everyone out so kindly that you felt like you'd just been given a group hug. What a wonderful world this would be if everyone were so agreeable and understanding! His optimism is another quality I'd like to learn to emulate. Christlike is the word that best describes Gordon B. Hinckley. Oh, I could just go on and on. You can't begrudge a guy for going at age 97, but I'm gonna miss him terribly!
So, I will just end with a little letter I wrote him once and never sent him because that's one of my specialties; writing letters to people and never sending them. Especially people who get lots of mail.
Dear President Hinckley,
I wanted to share what happened to me and my family when we followed your challenge to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. I know you knew most of us were way behind in Sunday School as usual and had pretty much given up by August and were getting all psyched up to be ready to start the next set of scriptures on time in January. How sneaky to draw us in at the last of the year like that. Well, I dutifully shared your message with the sisters I visit and discussed your promise if we obeyed that "there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God”. I encouraged them to go for the gold so to speak, but I have to admit that although I was planning to meet the challenge, I didn't expect the promise to come true for me in my home.
I know, because I've spent too much time in Junior Primary that you can feel the Spirit in the midst of a hurricane, but how often could it happen in the chaos that is my home? I always joke that our last name is spelled A-D-H-D, but only because it is. Our family scripture study used to always start out with me reading and before a verse was read, I had to stop a pillow fight, and that was when we just had one child. Now we have 5. There is no way to adequately describe the pandemonium that goes on in my house except to say that I never knew in my pre- parenting years that a one year old could do such a faithful impression of a smoke alarm and a poltergeist at the same time. Before I could get through a verse now, World War III had usually erupted and I would have to switch back to the well marked verse in Exodus 20 that reads "Thou shalt not kill." Good thing it's so short, or we'd all lose focus by the end.
In hopes that someday things would finally click, I started reading the comic strip versions of the scriptures to my younger children at the dinner table. At least part of the time odds were their mouths would be too full to make noise and something would seep in. As soon as I would crack out the quasi scriptures, my teenager would make a quick exit, my 7 year old would go into a trance, my 6 year old would start whining and vehemently protesting the torture of listening to 5 minutes of the written word and my two three year olds would start their circus routine. My husband more often than not would be away at work, but if he were there, he was too busy paying attention to his food to even notice we were reading. Needless to say, I was not expecting this challenge to lead to much.
Well, we figured it was still a good idea to obey, so we cracked out the CD version for my husband and older daughter, then I started going to bed way too late to try to do my reading, and at the dinner table, we started the comic strip version with the boys. Things started out pretty much the same. The old status quo, but about a month into it, something funny started to happen. The teenager started to linger and although appearing aloof, seemed to be listening. The 7 year old started to actually listen and comment. The 6 year old started reminding me to get the scriptures out and begging me to read before I'd even had a bite of dinner. The twins started disappearing and even though they were quiet, they weren't burning the house down. I was shocked. I was amazed. I kept reading. We finished on time. And funny things were going on at our house. I still don't think our home would seem like the definition of a haven of the Spirit of the Lord, but the relative silence is deafening. To us there is a very real difference in the quality of our home. I already thank God for this blessing but thank you too for following his prompting and promising us that blessing. I'm sorry I doubted. I will never doubt again. I'm up for any more blessings in the future. Thanks again,