Mercia Second Ward: Part Deux
This is the second part in our ongoing series about a recently discovered set of documents that illuminate for us what life was like in a Medieval ward. Though many plain and precious truths were lost during the time of the Great Apostasy, faithful saints worked hard to live the Gospel according to the light and knowledge that they had.
The announcement said “bring your children to the Ward assignment at the Stake Welfare Garden. It is important that ward members of all ages engage in service.” This went about as well as one might expect.
Recently church leaders announced that, in addition to serving the ward in visible ways through blessing and passing the sacrament, serving as ushers and serving as home teachers, teenage boys would now also carry out sacred ordinances in the Temple. “By recognizing their maturity and unique potential for leadership, we honor these Sons of God for their dignity, reverence and spirituality” said President Odo of the Wessex Temple District. Sister Odo tried to comment but could not be heard over the sound of slapping towels against rocks by a rushing stream.
Burthred invited his Home Teachee Hildegarde to share his hymnal. She was on the point of accepting when she noticed the beady eyes of the bishopric and their wives fixed eagerly upon them. Another match in the making?! Knowing that sharing a hymnal could easily be mistaken for consent to the laying on of hands and the gift of tongues, she refused and hastened out the door.
President Aelf decided the Sisters would welcome a guest lecture in Relief Society about the Family Proclamation. He opened the floor to questions and was surprised to learn that some sisters felt it was impossible to be equal partners if one partner presided over the other. He chuckled warmly and began to explain how really the two terms were not only compatible but really it made perfect sense if you only took the time to study and understand that the true meaning of patriarchy isn’t the world’s definition of patriarchy. Twenty minutes later he found himself thoroughly contorted from his attempts to resolve incompatible assertions.
Having a 17 month old child could make church a thankless chore, but it had a few advantages. The minute President Aelf began his lesson with the question “How has the Family Proclamation blessed your life,” Sister Godgifu realized that little Alfred had to be taken out of class immediately. Did he need his diaper changed? Or a snack? Was he fussy? Did he need to nap? Doesn’t matter. Her duty as a Mother in Zion was clear, and she was not one to shirk it.