Monday, February 11, 2008
I watched the second hand slowly make its way around the clock face. For all of the bright, enthusiastic people running it, Sacrament Meeting in a BYU student ward really wasn't any more interesting than the Sacrament Meetings put on by the worn-out, tired families back home. And here of course Sacrament Meeting had the added fun of being mandatory, and I don't mean just "earn your stars in heaven" kind of mandatory. I mean more like "if you don't show up for church regularly, then don't bother to come back to school next semester" kind of mandatory. At BYU, your bishop was always watching, and an "ecclesiastical endorsement" from him every year was a requirement for continuing enrollment.
I shifted around in my uncomfortable wooden chair. The speaker had just gotten to the crying part of her story. I wished I were instead attending my Physics lecture that was held in the same building during the week. I felt like a real jerk for being so indifferent to the girl's spiritual joy in finding the one and only true gospel, but she'd already told essentially this same story in a couple of Fast and Testimony meetings, and I really just wanted to get home and out of these uncomfortable nylons.
The girl giving the talk was something of a celebrity or hero to our ward because she was a convert. She demonstrated the wonderful effects that the only true gospel has on people's lives when they join the world's fastest-growing religion. She was an inspiration to the rest of the ward who didn't have to find the true church because we were raised in it. I sincerely wanted to be happy for her. Yet I also wanted to go home. Read the rest of the story ->