Sunday, April 1, 2012
I don’t love change. I think a huge part of my resistance is that I’m a very sentimental. Don’t believe me? I’ll give you a tour of my garage and my boxes (and boxes) of sentiments.
This past weekend was General Conference for the LDS Church. Basically, we get a break from our regular Sunday meetings and watch our leaders speak from Salt Lake City. In Utah we are lucky enough to have it on our local NBC station. Members throughout the world watch it over the internet and in their meetinghouses where it is broadcast via satellite. How lucky are we in Utah that we get to watch church on TV in our pajamas? On Saturday and Sunday we watch two two-hour sessions of church each day. The men over age 12 get to (have to) watch 5 sessions. It’s lots of church crammed into a weekend twice a year, but it’s absolutely my time of the year.
Yesterday they changed the General Relief Society Presidency. The Relief Society is the women’s organization within the church. I’ve been going to Relief Society for going on 13 years now, which means I’ve attended under 3, now 4, General Presidents. It seems like the change happens without much ado, with just a little excitement over whoever is called to replace the outgoing president. But today as Sister Beck gave her last General Conference talk I was a little emotional---which is unusual for me, and I can blame it on my pregnancy hormones entirely.
But I have loved Sister Beck.While I genuinely felt a part of and a full-member of Relief Society before I had children, it has meant so much more to me since I became a mother (or maybe it was just that I grew up?) Sister Beck was called a couple years after Claire was born, and I still remember one of her first General Conference addresses called Mothers Who Know. While it became a little controversial within the church (“What?!” some women cried. “You say we should HAVE children? You even suggest more than one!? You say should be ‘cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home’? You say I should have my children clean and presentable at church? WITH their hair brushed?” CRAZY ideas, right?). That talk was perfect for me as I was beginning my years as a mother and homemaker. It is one that I should refer to more often. Am I always perfect at the things she listed? Absolutely not. Is it an ideal I would love to achieve? Absolutely. I think we're all working toward that. Some people expected her to retract or clarify her message. She didn’t; and over the years she has continued to call upon women of the church to do more and be more. I like her more for it. I like her boldness and directness. I like that she said what needed to be said and didn’t tip-toe around it.
I became a part of my ward relief society presidency last year at this time. Seeing Relief Society from the leadership side has certainly given me a better understanding of and appreciation for the organization. We, as a presidency, were kind of attached to Sister Beck. As she gave her final address today I may have shed a couple tears. I appreciated that she was also emotional. What a happy day for her to have completed her very stressful and time-consuming assignment, but it must be sad to let go of something you would love so much.
In the same breath, it is fun to get to know and love someone else, and it will be fun to get to know the new presidency and to learn from them. In general, wasn’t Conference wonderful? I can’t wait to get the Ensign magazine in May and to read it cover to cover (I actually do read all of it! I read it while I eat breakfast every day. It takes a while, and the magazine always gets some milk-damage, but I usually get through it before the next sessions roll around. It’s a great beginning to every day. I don’t do a lot of things I should, but that’s one good habit that I treasure.)