Church Ball: An Essay by My 12-Year-Old Self

april middle school photo smallNow that I am an adult with a public health degree and a passion for women’s rights, I have developed a heartfelt appreciation for competitive sports opportunities for girls.

That doesn’t change the fact that when I was a young girl myself, I was exceptionally small for my age, clumsy and bookwormish, so competitive sports were pretty much torture to me. (As an adult, I am still a small, clumsy bookworm, but competitive sports no longer torment me because no one makes me play them any more.)

Since I was so completely devoid of athletic talent, I did not participate in school or community sports teams as a kid, so my only experiences with competitive sports were in gym class and at church. My stake had annual Young Women’s softball, volleyball and basketball competitions and my ward members successfully peer-pressured me into participating, not because I was any good (I wasn’t) but because the Young Women in my ward had an intense fear of forfeiting.

I recently found this essay I wrote about church basketball when I was twelve years old. I have invited twelve-year-old me to share the essay as a guest post. The writing is rather immature because the author was immature. (Sometimes, I still am.)  But I see this essay as evidence that my time spent playing church ball (or watching it from the bench) was worthwhile. I never developed any athletic skills but I did develop early signs of a talent for snark, which has served me well ever since.

Church Ball

by April Young, age 12

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Relief Society Lesson 11: Follow the Living Prophet

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moses_aaron_hur

President Ezra Taft Benson taught:

Learn to keep your eye on the prophet. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece and the only man who can speak for the Lord today.

Some of my favorite scriptures about following the prophet are found in the book of Exodus and center around the experiences of the prophet Moses.

Moses’ people were at war with the people of Amalek.  Moses went up to a hill to watch the battle and brought his rod with him, the same one he had used when he cursed the Nile while persuading Pharaoh to free the Israelites, and that he had also used to strike the rock of Horeb so that it gushed water for the Israelites when they were in the desert and thirsty.

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The Cokeville Miracle Raises Questions about Celebrating Miracles “When We See Them”

David-DorisRm.4 (1)I recently attended a preview of the Cokeville Miracle, a new film about a real elementary school hostage crisis that took place in 1989. The Cokeville Miracle was written and directed by T.C. Christensen, who is best known for the films 17 Miracles and Ephraim’s Rescue. It is produced by Mormons but does not make overt references to the LDS faith. However, to anyone familiar with the LDS faith and culture, the Mormonism in this film will be obviously apparent.

I checked my watch in confusion when the hostage crisis ended in the film.  It didn’t seem like the movie had lasted long enough to be over yet, and it wasn’t.  The movie continues after the crisis ends, following one of the parents of the child hostages as he tries to process the horrific event.  It is refreshing to see a film probe into the aftermath of violence, instead of stopping with the action, but the transition between these two parts of the film is a little rough.  It almost seems like the film is two short films of completely different genres glued together.  The first part of the film feels like a crime/action movie, with the audience looking on omnisciently.  The last half is more like a promotional religious film, told from the perspective of one of the people affected.  The last half of the film almost feels like one person’s testimony, illustrated in video.

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June Young Women Lesson: What are the keys of the priesthood?

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Introduce the doctrine

The two primary ways by which priesthood authority is distributed are through ordination to priesthood office and through priesthood keys.

The above offices I have given unto you, and the keys thereof, for helps and for governments, for the work of the ministry and the perfecting of my saints. D&C 124:143

priesthood-authority

Click to enlarge.

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