Guest Post: Auto-Pilot to Heaven

 

by Jenny

baptism dresses 4“What day is your daughter going to get baptized?”

It’s an innocent question, but it rips at my heart a little more each time it is asked. I have too many skeletons in my closet. In fact, I have two baptism dresses in my closet, one that I couldn’t resist because it was on sale at Costco, and another that was given to us. It was all so simple then, back when I was on auto-pilot to heaven. The path was steady and sure. My plane was headed straight toward the Celestial Kingdom and all I had to do was sit back and check things off my list. Married in the temple, check. Motherhood, check. Endure Sacrament Meeting with toddlers in tow once a week, check. Ten years of smooth sailing from the temple to my first-born’s baptism. Of course she would be baptized right after she turned eight, and taut her new cleanliness by wearing a pure white dress to church. That was one more thing to check off my list.

Then I woke up.

When I realized that I was flying on auto-pilot, I also realized that my path wouldn’t necessarily lead me to heaven. The dread set in. You mean I actually have to learn to fly my own plane? The flying lessons were short because I was already in midair. Now I am awake, and I am flying, and I am thinking about the covenants I make. I don’t want my daughter to grow up on auto-pilot. I want her to think.

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April 2014 Visiting Teaching Message: The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Savior and Redeemer

The visiting teaching messages of the past many months have all focused on one or two aspects of Jesus Christ’s role. This month, the focus is on his role as Redeemer and Savior.

When discussing stories or attributes of Christ, I try to ask myself, “How does this affect my relationship with God? And how does this affect my relationships with others?”

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The Inaugural LDS Women’s Meeting–Part I

I have looked forward to this historic women’s meeting for many months despite sharing the concerns of some that the audience may be too broad. I arrived at my stake center, wearing my subversive purple dress, vowing to keep an open mind and to stand with my sisters, no matter what.

I will be sharing my thoughts on the first half on the session but I have to say, I loved every minute. I was moved and inspired by each talk, I found the videos and music uplifting and heart-expanding. I am grateful that I live in a time where a meeting like this can be held and that we can be taught powerfully by the women leaders of my own faith. I look forward to the time when my daughter can join me.

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An (Out)Burst

Three Sundays ago in Relief Society we had lesson 1 in the Joseph Fielding Smith manual. It was the lesson on Heavenly Father. I had  ended up on the front row with my knitting and my baby. The first discussion in the class included listing the traits of God on the board. I sat there wondering if I had something to add while everyone else put up all the phrases  I was already thinking about: all the omni-stuff, loving, merciful, etc. And then,

“Male.”

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Family Home Evening for Black History Month

MosesI’m not one of those fancy parents who has Family Home Evening (FHE) with a lesson, a treat, a song, a scripture, and a game that are all thematically linked. Nope.

On a week that we do FHE, we do a Church song (kid’s choice), then, Nate or I yell a lesson over the kids’ playing or fighting, and we end with a prayer.

But, for the past few years in the month of February, we have one stellar FHE as I read Moses: When Harried Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.* Throughout the book, God guides Harriet to freedom by talking to her as she takes that first journey North. It’s a perfect story for emphasizing faith, courage, and listening to that still, small, voice. Then, we talk about slavery, racism, and our responsibilities to love all our sisters and brothers.

I’m also embarrassed…this is my only FHE with a modern person of color. And, I want to do better, especially after reading the chapter, “Why White Parents Don’t Talk about Race” in Nurtureshock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.

What are you doing for Black History Month? What do you do throughout the year in your FHEs to work on combating racism?

*Just a warning, we’ve owned this book for 4 years. I’ve read it often, but I have yet to get through it without crying.

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