Saturday, March 14, 2020

You Are Never Alone Alone

Wow!  What a week, yeah?  

This virus has made me feel like I'm living through one of those end of the world apocalypse films . . .  Which has totally been on my mind lately.  I feel like I've been having lots of subconsciously complicated zombie dreams throughout the month.  And I have no idea what it means . . .

As we all awkwardly stretch through these growing pains of adjusting to a new normal, I wanted to share a thought or two about our new church-from-home studies.

I was so cheerful as the church announced suspending member gatherings on the sabbath.  Looking through my faith lense, it is so remarkable seeing the Lord's preparation as the church implemented the Come Follow Me home study manuals through the last year and a half.  Thinking of God's love and President Nelson's inspiration, the heart of my testimony doubled in size the day of the announcement.

But then my emotions started to shift as I read reactions from members excited for their new family sabbath study plans and received an email from our bishop stating that priesthood holders may now perform the sacrament ordinance in their homes each week.  As everything became real, things really struck a nerve for me and my unique situation.

In our mixed faith marriage there are a lot of great days.  Mitch and I have never been closer and there's nothing that I love more than having deep, connecting conversations with him about life's big mysteries.  But we both have acknowledged that every now and then one of us will have a dark day where the weight of our differences piles on our shoulders.  

Just a week ago I was having one of these days and I remember telling Mitch how I was experiencing this weird loneliness at home feeling "alone" in my beliefs.  Each Sunday in my ward I was given that rejuvenation being surrounded by others who shared a common faith.  It helped me charge my batteries.  

After the church cancellation announcement was made (obviously) those feelings amplified.  The thought of that "alone" feeling ignited my emotions again and I realized as we remain home and my personal study each week becomes solo I would be, quite literally, alone in my religion.
But after a while a single thought brought me peace and rested my worries.  I thought of Moroni.  

In high school I still remember well the year we studied the Book of Mormon in seminary.  When we reached the lesson where we learn of Moroni being hunted by the Lamanites who spent years wandering through the wilderness alone, my wonderful teacher, Sister Caldwell, assigned each student to their own, individual classroom and made us quietly study our lesson in solitary to understand the isolation Moroni had to experience.  

He was someone who knew what it was like to be alone in his faith.  And that thought is giving me the strength and the spiritual energy to press on . . .  at least to make it to our next general conference. πŸ˜‰ And Moroni is now the popping picture background to my phone gracefully reminding me that I am not alone. 

. . . and a constant reminder of my uncomfortable Angel Moroni zombie dream 🀦‍♀️

But I also had to remind myself that, no, I am not alone.  And I realize that there are a lot of church members out there in similar circumstances to mine which Moroni didn't have.  And I have the internet which Moroni also didn't have.  

So as part of my "personal study" on my sabbath days I am really hoping to post a spiritual topic on instagram that I would love, love, LOVE participation from each of you.  You can all be my virtual Sunday school buddies and we can lift each other up from our individual, lonely wildernesses.  


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