I should have given this earlier today, but, alas, the long line didn’t allow it.
Two things to say about the line:
- How wonderful it is for there to be a constant line of people desiring to bear their testimony. In a ward where the overflow behind the back bench isn’t even open.
- Of course the line would have allowed it if I had just stepped in it at some point or other. I was waiting for a gap in the line, but as we all know, if you want to bear your testimony, no one in the bishopric is ever going to stop you. I just didn’t want to commit to the testimony enough to hand Dagny to Nyssa and go up there and wait for my turn. Why? Because even if you publish a book calling out for your fellow latter-day saints to wake up and stand up and speak up, the thought of public speaking can still make you a coward.
Now, I wanted to say just a few words about church. (Seriously, just one or two paragraphs.) Over the last few months I’ve missed a lot of church due to Dagny and the moving process. Heck, my attendance wasn’t even spotless before then. I don’t know if it’s bipolar or just laziness but it’s really hard for me to sit down for that long. I get antsy and there’s this bizarre Saturday night anxiety I get about going to church the next day. I think part of it is that I’ve gotten so used to working from home and being home all day that the thought of having to get up and go somewhere on time the next day really freaks me out. And then for six months when I worked as a night auditor for a hotel I worked Saturday night through Sunday morning, and church was at that exact wrong time, 1pm-4pm, for me to go without going insane from sleep issues, and so I missed at least every other week as a result. Anyway, the point is, over the last few years I’ve gotten out of the habit of a solid three hours of church every single week and I’ve noticed, especially lately, that my spiritual life—yes, despite writing a book on the gospel and being 100% loyal to it—is merely skimming the surface these days. I haven’t been able to see the gospel affect others’ lives. I haven’t been able to bear witness to other people changing others’ lives. I haven’t been able to be a part of the gospel changing others’ lives.
So I wanted, want, to bear my testimony of the church part of church. The social part. The part where we interact with each other, where cogs interlock as we perform together the great work of this gospel. It’s like only saying “Amen” in your head when everyone else says it out loud. Or only singing a few words of the hymns. Doing the church in your head can really alienate you from the reality of it all. Can make everything numb. Can make you forget the substance and grow calloused to the concrete changes it really can bring about.
So everyone, say “Amen” with everyone after prayers and talks. Belt out those hymns. The point isn’t to sing them beautifully. The point is to sing them together, and to allow yout o express the sentiments of the words, and, appropriate to today, bear your testimony. So do that, too.
But I’m a hypocrite, aren’t I? I wished I had born my testimony today, because it would have been an excellent step towards correcting this particular spiritual rut I’ve found myself in. It was, honestly, THE answer, because it would have introduced me to the new ward and shown them all that I want to be a part of them—which I do. Because this is a church, not just a life philosophy. A kingdom, not just a state of mind. And we’re meant to do it together. That’s what Zion is all about.