Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Q is for...


I’m getting frustrated.  

I wonder if anyone else feels this way.  The struggle between wanting to stay true to yourself and staying true to your family.  Do you remain quietly sitting in silence, respecting your family’s wishes, silently drifting like a specter through the hallways of your home?  Do you speak up when your family insists that teachings you find offensive and false and true and right?  Do you question your parent’s teachings to your teenage siblings or do you respect your parent’s wishes and right to teach their children all sorts of....beliefs.  

When my little sister asks me, “Aren’t black people cursed because of Cain? Isn’t that why they have black skin?”  I scoff and mumble something about melanin.  “You know.  It makes you darker.”  

“But, the Bible...I heard...”

“It’s melanin.  When your skin is in the sun, it produces more melanin...so...” I trail off.  Like I’ve mentioned before, science is not my strongest point.  I like it but, damn.  Tenth grade biology was a long time ago.  My teacher kept a dead fetus in a jar.  A floating, shriveled baby.  It scared us all into submission.  No wonder the basics of life science escape me now.  

I wonder:  is it easier to remain wrapped in the snug folds of Mormonism because it doesn’t require much thought?  I mean, relatively speaking.  I will be the first to admit, I didn’t think much.  The world around me?  Who cares? The Book of Mormon?  True?  If you say so.  Granted, I was 15 and what teenager isn’t completely self-absorbed?  

I did the whole EFY thing.  The Girls Camp Testiphony.  Everyone cried at the mere mention of Joseph Smith.  But I...stayed quiet.  Sure, the songs were nice.  Sure, Sarah cried her eyes out because she shared the prophet’s birthday. I stayed quiet.  I liked learning about Jesus.  I could get behind his Love Everyone message.  I read the Bible.  I wept openly when I read in John where Jesus tells his disciples, “You are my friends.” I felt Jesus was my friend...or could have been.  He was all about love.  And I wanted to be loved.  Those words made me feel secure.  Just the idea that someone taught that kind of love rocked my selfish, teenage brain.  Like those Relief Society sisters who set up their tablecloths and flowers proclaiming, “ I know this lesson was for me.”, I felt moved.  Certain that somehow, John had me in mind when inscribing those words.  

A few years later, my mom decided it was time to get my Patriarchal Blessing.  Patriarchal Blessing? Sure.  The day dawned.  I’d lost my recommend.  My parent were fighting with me.  My dad briefly considered canceling the whole thing.  But, we went anyways.  I met with the Patriarch.  A tall, old man with white hair.  We went to his house.  Chatted about...what I don’t recall.  Sat in his living room.  I nervously sat in a chair as he placed his hands on my head...

The blessing was a blur.  Tribe of Ephraim.  Mother in Zion.  Satan.  No sex.  Get an education, but not too much.  Men will tempt you.  Their teachings, that is.  And scriptures.  Three or four of them.  The transcription of the blessing came later on a big sheet of 8 ½” X 11” paper.  My dad shrunk it for me using our mini copier-scanner-printer-faxer.  The multi-purpose tool for the multi-purpose blessing.  Lead Me.  Guide Me.  Walk Beside Me. 

 I felt excited to read the blessing and learn from it.  But, I first noticed two things.  The scriptures:  No John among them.  The other:  the prolific typos littered throughout the document.  Who. the. hell. typed. my. blessing? The grammar and spelling errors were unforgivable.  (I want to be an editor.  Maybe this was inspiration!?)  Maybe the scriptures would help. 

I read them.  Searching for meaning.  Attempting to puzzle it out.  Study it out in my mind.  D&C scriptures regarding supporting The Church and church callings.  The Priesthood.  What did these verses mean?  What was God trying to tell me?  These scriptures were supposed to bless me, but I just felt confused.  Church callings?  But, I don’t care about Priesthood and Church callings.  Where is Jesus’ love?  His friendship?  Was it not laid out for me?  I’d felt it.  I thought I knew it.  

But, I stayed silent.  After all, it did mention Education.  I was going to college...eventually.  Maybe I would go on a mission with my Eternal Companion. I felt certain I would be a Mother, but based on my blessing, now I wasn’t so sure.  I was quietly worried when it stated my children would be special spirits that needed special guidance.  They had “a powerful desire to do good and [I] would be blessed with the strength to guide them.”  What did that mean?  I didn’t want Special Spirits.  I wanted regular kids.  I secretly hoped I wouldn’t be worthy enough for these spirits.  I didn’t want them. 

 I pored over the rest of my blessing, detailing it in my journal how each part applied to my life.  On some, I drew a blank.  I believed the promises in my blessing would happen someday.  They had to.  Why wouldn’t they?  Wouldn't they?  But...but what?  What would happen? 

 After the blessing, I was most excited about the finally getting a written copy so I could go over the scriptures, but now, they just puzzled me.  They just didn’t fit.  They didn’t apply.  Maybe to somebody else, but not to me.   

I kept silent about it.  

And so did God. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...