I've been trying to formulate this post for a while and just figured it's time to just get it out. It's partly frustration, partly just wanting people to be more thoughtful/careful with words.
K, so we have a neighbor friend who is probably going to be baptized in the next month or so, super exciting! We referred the missionaries to her and never heard anything back from them (frustrating) but she knocked on the door a few weeks ago to ask if she could come to church with us, etc... which was pretty cool, albeit we were running behind that morning, we still got there in time for sacrament, just not as early as we'd like. I can't take much credit for initiating any of the situation because Kalea is really the best missionary I know, she knocks & walks right in! LOL So that's kind of how we got to know this neighbor and her daughter, just my kids escaping from my house and letting themselves into hers- precious/awkward, but great ice breaker! Anywho, the missionaries that we have right now are um, for some reason very unfriendly with us, which is confusing to Steve and I, and I think to our friend. So the next week our friend came to church again and when Steve took Kalea to go escort her daughter to Primary while I set up my classroom, a really interesting exchange happened. He told our friend that Kalea had gone over and knocked on the door to see if they were coming to church this morning and our friend was like, "Oh yeah, these two (gesturing to the missionaries) are making me come really early now since we were late last week" and this young, very young Elder turns to her and says "Well yeah, you don't want to be like these guys" gesturing to my husband and daughter, and basically disrespecting our family, in front of our friend who looked at him like he was an idiot. So here is where I'm at, after a few weeks of cooling off from the whole thing.
First, I understand 19-21yr old boys think they know a lot, and choose their words less carefully than the vast majority of the general adult population. So that is what it is, I would blame it on the guy trying to be funny, but Steve said the tone wasn't funny at all, so we can just blame it on immaturity and rudeness instead. We're praying that kid grows up in the next few years or he might never have the opportunity to be like us, poor him.
In one of my most favorite books, Covenant Hearts by Bruce C Hafen, he writes,
The fountainhead of human love flows from a marriage between hearts knit together by covenants. When those headwaters run pure, children and grandchildren will later sing their own hymns of grateful praise: "For the love which from our birth,/ Over and around us lies."
Imagine me singing the following then...
Steve and I have been greatly blessed to have been raised in homes where the gospel of Jesus Christ has been central to our lives from the minute we arrived on this planet. That doesn't mean we've lived it perfectly nor would we want to, or what need would we have for a Savior? But it means that it's been there, in us, every step of the way and at times when we've strayed, we've been able to come back to it. It's the foundation of our lives and when people talk about how the doctrine of Jesus Christ saves people, we know that to be true because we've lived it individually and together. We've made covenants with God individually, and together, and have been sealed in the temple, there is no vow between us of "til death do we part". Death has no power over our covenant. We live and strive to do our very best in this life and we have the promise of eternity together in the next. Our children are wrapped up in the safety of our covenant, they are ours, forever, we are theirs, forever. At 3 &4 years of age, they each have a personal relationship with their Savior and their Heavenly Father, we know because we get glimpses of it every now and then. They're teaching each other how to pray, they're asking us to read them stories about Jesus, they know all the words to "I Am a Child of God" and we hear them singing it often without prompting from us. There is a sweetness and joy in our home that words really can't do justice, even on the worst of days, it's here. Our parents and other adults close to us have taught us basic principles of self-reliance, how to set 10% aside for the Lord and how to give of ourselves whenever we have a chance. I've never lived a day on this earth without access to scripture, or access to people with knowledge of them or who have been able to teach me the gospel from them. This doesn't make us better than anyone, obviously we can't get ourselves together in time for church on Sundays, we're getting better though. This doesn't mean life is without it's struggles, we have lots of those, but it means that through these struggles we have hope that there's more to life than just this life, a sense of the bigger picture, and we know where to turn when we need help. There are a lot of people in this world who don't have that and are constantly searching for it. We are so very grateful to have what we have and to be able to share it with the people around us. I'm so grateful that one of the first conversations I had with my friend was about families, and what we believe about God and our relationship to Him and how much He loves us. That's the best kind of conversation to ever have, and I'm pretty sure it opened the door for two young men to enter my friends house. We have so much to be grateful for and we can only hope and pray that our friend is able to have the richness of these blessings in her home and family for generations to come too.
In short, that Elder has much to learn about just how great and awesome it is to be us.