i've been going to the single's ward. it really is a lot of fun. it's different, but fun. it reminds me a lot of the first time going to seminary. once you step into that building your life suddenly becomes a bit more churchy. you take things more seriously, you try to understand things more. you become a little better, and do a little better in turn. it's fun being there because everyone is so focused and involved. but that's sort of a no brainer. the people that are there want to be there, they made an effort to be there. someone made an interesting point in gospel doctrine today.
we should be so grateful for the good things that happen in our lives, but we should be even more grateful for the challenges and trials. because without those times, we aren't pushed to make any hard decisions, to make the right decisions. it's through those hard times that we have the opportunity to show our obedience.
i believe that.
last night when i was at the rsl game i got a call from a number that i didn't recognize. i pressed the phone up against my ear to try to block out the noise of the stadium. out of a 30 second phone call, all i heard was: "church tomorrow, closing prayer". i guessed at what the rest of the sentences were and filled in the blanks. so i said, "yeah, i'd love to!". now, on to today.
just to confirm my suspicions, i grabbed two programs, went to the end and saw "benediction....clay ellis". cool. fast forward to the end. you know when you are about to do something and you get kinda nervous because you've never done it before? and you start to do stupid things. and the common sense just goes right out the window? three things went out my window.
one. there is a closing hymn after the last speaker.
two. in sacrament meeting, unlike seminary, we sing all the verses.
three. you look stupid when you try to 'attack' the pulpit over and over again.
so right when the final speaker closed, i stood up and starting walking to the front. someone else stood up, it was the bishop. i panicked, but luckily i was standing right by the front bench by then, and no one else was sitting there. so i sat down and played it off like i was just getting ready. he thanked the speakers, and then announced the song, then said that i would be offering the closing prayer. so we started singing, i don't remember which hymn it was, but i do remember that it was the slowest hymn in the world. the first verse was ending. i closed my book, straightened my tie, cleared my throat, licked my lips and stood up.
the music kept coming.
i dropped back into my seat like a cement bag hitting the floor. i pretended to keep singing, although i'm pretty sure that nothing was coming out. the song ended, and i waited an extra five seconds just to make sure that the organist wasn't going to burst out in whatever song filled her heart. nothing. that meant it was my turn. i walked up to the pulpit, said a short prayer, and that was that. nothing else embarrassing happened. i didn't trip and fall like kassie (sorry, but that was hilarious!).
so yeah, i've done it. i've said a closing prayer in a sacrament meeting. that was a first for me. i enjoyed it.