Friday, December 14, 2007

How We Got To Be LDS~

My first recollection of anything religious was my mom reading us bedtime stories from the bible. Our family wasn't a member of any church during that time, but everynight when my father was working my mom would pull out her big white family bible and read to us. I enjoy it. When I was about 4 or 5 years old i can remember being outside sunday morning playing and a bus would come around and pick up the neigborhood kids and they've disappear for a couple of hours then return. On day my siblings and I got on the bus. Keep in mind if I was about 5 years old, my younger brother was 4, my older sister was 6 and our older brother was probably 8 years old.
One day we just jumped on the bus with our friends and went to church! It was fun, a bunch of your friends on this bus singing songs like

This little Light of mine
Jesus Loves The Little Children.

We'd get off the bus and be ushered into this church where we colored pictured of Jesus and sang more songs and had a bible study. They collected penny's from everyone and then we got on the bus and went back home. I loved it. What I didn't like was they made us spit out our gum during bible study. They said they would give up a piece after wards but they never did. Since i never got my gum back I decided to keep my penny's cuz they lied to me each week. After bible study we'd go hear rather loud exciting sermon then get on the bus and sing all the way home. What better way to spend the sabbath then being on a "FUN BUS" with all your school yard and neighborhood buddies singing songs about Jesus, away from the parents for a few hours! Good stuff.
My father and I were talking just last night about this and he said....
" your mother and I must have lost our minds! What parents send their kids off on a random bus that collects kids take them away for a couple of hours and bring them back? We had no idea where you were or what you were doing. Then one Sunday you all came in the house singing books about the bible. So we figured you were learning some good stuff and retaining it. We continued to let you go for a while. It was great. Then your mother and I decided that it was probably time we all get some religion. So one day we all went to the church you were going. And you never went back after that."
"well how come?" I ASKED
" man, them people were holy rollin in the isles and back then, we used to joke about them kind of people!" ( I started crackin up !")
"But I think (he continued) that the best thing that ever happened to our family is the day your mother and I got invited to a dinner and 2 young men with the same first name of elder were there!. I'm not sure what direction we would have been headed as a family, but I KNOW that we are better off now then we would have been had we never joined the church." And he proceeded to bear his testimony. It was an awesome moment. My dad and i talked for nearly 6 hours last night. Laughing and joking most of the time about our time in the church.
A walk down memory lane: He used to officiate church basket ball. He talked about one time when he toss a stake president out of the game and then ejected him from the building. He uppercut a guy! LDS basket ball is VICIOUS and dad didn't take no crap. He said it was disheartening to watch priesthood brothers to act that way towards each other. I asked him if he ejected that Stake President before he got the priesthood?He said... "yeah, and as a matter of fact, He was the one who gave me the priesthood." I had to laugh about that. ONLY in the LDS church!
We shared some really fun memories about growing up in the Church. For a couple years my father played Santa Clause for the Ward Christmas parties. My dad is an AWESOME Santa Clause.
It seemed for a time we were always having ward parties at our house. Before we joined my dad would black mail the missionaries into playing with our family. They'd have to go sledding or to the winter park with us if they wanted us to hear the next discussion. Fun times. When I look back at our family and the whole LDS experience it really has been a Joy! My parents were really good about finding joy in the church while we were younger. Don't get me wrong it's been tough being in the world and not of the world. Yes we ARE a peculiar people. I've been hanging with some pretty amazing kids this summer and fall and we talk about some of the things we can and can't do as church members. I'm so impressed with them and their committment to staying pure till marriage and not dating too soon and so on. One day they asked me what makes me so cool. I get that alot when I'm hangin with teenagers... "you are soo cool." I tell them... "you know what makes me cool? Being LDS makes me cool. Yeah we have some freakish cultural stereotypes (funeral potatoes, jello, casseroles and what not...) But we do alot of cool stuff as Mormons. We have a really cool legacy. We have a networking program for taking care of each other like no bodies business. And no matter where you go in this world, if you are lost, hungry, alone or scared, for the most part you can pick up a phone book, call an LDS bishop and pretty much feel secure." And you don't HAVE TO BE LDS to have that, we'll help anyone.
To me, that's pretty cool.
I LIKE being LDS. I haven't always liked it, but now I am so proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

PS... I miss that penticostle bus, though!


Anonymous said...

I LOVE reading conversion stories, especially when they involve missionaries. I was raised in a Southern Baptist home, but my husband was LDS. After 11 years of marriage, I finally said YES to baptism. After all, I had two children by then and a third one on the way, and we had been attending the LDS church for years. I could see and feel what it was doing for us as a family and as individuals. One day as I was walking my crying baby outside of the chapel doors, I heard the Priesthood singing, "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet," and suddenly I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be a part of this great church. I'm so glad I did. It's the smartest thing I've ever done, especially since it has ramifications for my family down through the eternities. One of these days I'm going to write a book of conversion stories. They're so interesting and inspiring, especially for investigators whose families are opposed to the Church (like mine). Sometimes knowing that others have also walked in your shoes gives you courage.

Happy New Year!

S'mee said...

Man did this bring me back a ways! When we were little our mom would date on Sundays and we'd get to go to whatever church with the babysitters! We hit a lot of them! I remember the "Joy Bus", I remember wearing a kleenex on my head to attend Mass, and I remember the day we went to the Pentecostals...those folks knew how to "party with God". Born Agains to Jews we saw it all. Good stuff. Even to this day I will pop out a "Can I get a Witness?" during RS lesson and get the looks, funny.

But you are right, the LDS do more for their own than any other group and they invite all to do the same. All are welcome at the table!

mckenzi said...

I enjoyed this story. Thank you.

ShaBANG said...

what if we LDS had a "joy bus?" An were rockin out to Sister Glady's Knights "Saint Unified Voices" Choir? That would be awesome. I'd buy a ticket to ride!

I love going back to Michigan and going to Grandma's AME church! One of these days I'm gonna bust our a tamberine in Sacrament meeting and see what happens :)

Nella Shara said...

I have enjoyed your blog and have been reading it off and on for about a year or so. After many run ins with the Mormon church(most of it my with me going off with my mouth), I am three scared weeks away from baptism. I am intrigued by this fullness of the gospel and want to grow more into what Jesus wants me to be. I kinda feel like I am on an island, being the only black member of my ward....but I know I am among friends.

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