Have you ever heard the term, “They need a slice of humble pie.”? If you haven’t then you must be one of the unicorn’s in the world that has never been served a slice, or maybe you are the one that your friends and family are referring to when using this statement, and you just may need to eat the whole thing if that’s the case. Well, today I was served up a big ole piece, complete with whip cream and a cherry.
Let me take you back to earlier in the week. My husband, got a phone call from Salt Lake City. The phone call went something like this…
SlC: “Is this Brandon Enander?”
SLC: “This is probably going to be the most random phone call you’all get today, but this is Brother Williams from Salt Lake City. As you know Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the twelve apostles is coming to your Stake Conference and we were given your name as someone that could help with security while he is there? Are you available?
Brandon: “Yes of course! I’d be honored”
So for those of you not saying “that’s so cool!” To yourself, let me tell you…that is equivalent to The Vatican calling and asking someone to help when a Cardinal comes to visit, only Mormon version! So ok now your with me on this amazingly cool opportunity my husband is getting. My husband who was baptized a year ago, got to meet President Eyring (again important leader of the LDS church) at the Philadelphia temple dedication, goes through the temple only a month ago, and we were sealed last week (blog post coming soon on that awesomeness), and now gets to meet Elder Rasband?! Listen I’ve been a member my whole life and my new convert husband has had some of the craziest spiritual experiences this past year than I have in my 29…cough cough…ok 32 years! I attribute these experiences to faith building necessities for my “I’ll never be a Mormon” husband.
So, it gets better. The Brother from SLC tells Brandon that his family will be seated up front so that he can be seated as to prevent anyone from going up to the pulpit that is unauthorized. Yeah, now I’m excited for my family at this point too! We get to sit upfront, probably shake Elder Rasbands hand. It’s okay to “fan girl” over an apostle right? Pretty sure God would prefer that over Justin Bieber so, I’m just gonna own my craziness and say I was totally stoked!
So today comes, I have total proud wife moment as my husband gets up early to iron his suit and get all nice for his “duties” which let’s be clear may not seem like much, but after I heard the Head Security Man talking to Brandon before Conference started talking about “active shooter” scenarios, I realized it was a big deal what my husband signed up for. He served in the military and although it was before we were ever together, I got a little taste of what he must have looked like. It was pretty hot, I’m just saying.
I arrived at the Stake center later than him, because um, hello three kids and myself had to look great if we were going to sit front row! Also, I am pretty sure I came short of threatening their existence if they even made a sound while sitting front row. The ride there I kept thinking, how incredible this experience would be for my husband and I and our kids. I’ve been to General Conference in SLC of course but never sat so close I could basically read the lips (if I could read lips) of the apostles, let alone shook their hands!
I walk in, and the church is packed! I run into a few friends, who invite us to sit with them. I didn’t hesitate “oh, actually we have seats upfront.” Yes you probably read that exactly how I said it. I pass by the people going into the overflow part, and walk into the chapel like I own the place, and then I’m greated by the other half of my teammom. Lindsey, doesn’t hesitate to say “so we are sitting with you, but if there’s not enough room when you sit down, we will move.”
I am going to be completely honest…I was a little sad. Let me first say that, I truly have formed an incredible relationship and friendship with this woman. She has actually been my rock this past year in that department, but I had built up this scenario in my mind of my family (let’s be clear, I’d of felt this way had it been any of my friends wanting to sit with us). Brandon, me, Kamryn, Jordyn, and Coen, sitting on the front bench “picture perfect” family making lots of eye contact with Elder Rasband. Like we were going to have a “moment”. Obviously when I write it all out that scenario seems a bit ridiculous, but stay with me.
So I walk to the front of the chapel, a bit defeated, and make eye contact with my husband who was so happy to see us and who I later found out encouraged Kelly and Lindsey to sit with us. He obviously needed no pie. So my husband sits by the door, then me, Jordyn, Kamryn, Lindsey, Kelly and Coen on his lap since there wasn’t enough room for all of us. I am not upset, let me make that clear, but that family moment I had hoped for was quickly disappearing.
In walks Elder Rasband. When an apostle walks in to a room they bring a spirit with them that is palpable. I felt it’s weight on me as he got closer to us. He turns to us on the front row and looks right at Lindsey and Kelly (Ok I’m sure he was referring to all of us, but he looked at them) and said “Who is this cute family who came early to sit on the front row?” Lindsey introduces them as he shakes their hand, and I in an awkward and probably too aggressive voice introduce myself and Brandon. Looking back I felt like I could have enjoyed that moment so much more had my heart not been hard.
After a few of the speakers, Elder Rasband gets up, and starts to speak. His voice is so calm. He talks to the children. He tells them President Monson loves them. It was so sweet, and tender. Then he addresses the adults. The first words of advice he says to us is to say “I’m sorry” more. And this is when that Humble pie starts to be made…he continues by talking about King Benjamin’s last address. How families gathered together in their tents to listen to him speak, and compared it to us as families gathered there at Stake Conference. I looked at my pew…my family. Yep, we were all there. So the pie was put in the oven, and it continued to bake as he spoke about how we are in charge of this rising generation, to help them not to turn away from the teaching of their fathers and mothers as those little ones did that listened to King Benjamin. He quoted many prophets he had known throughout his life…
“No other success in life, can compensate for failure in the home.” -David O. McKay
When he went on to explain what constitutes failure he said “failure only occurs when mom’s and dad’s stop trying.” I realized at that very moment for the past 30 minutes I had been failing as a parent. Here is an amazing opportunity for our kids to sit with all their parents and listen to an Apostle of the Lord speak, and I was being childish. I had stopped trying.
He even went as far as to talk about Dysfunctional families, and comparing them to 1st Nephi. Yet, in the very first verse as we all know, because we’ve read it 100 times more than any other verse, it clearly states “I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents…” Goodly Parents. That’s what we were doing right then. All four of us in our functional dysfunctional family on the front row of Stake Conference. We were leading by example as Nephi’s parents had.
Harold B. Lee said “The most important of the Lords work, is done within the walls of our own homes”. Here’s the thing about divorce and remarriage, those walls get a little bigger, but it still remains “our own home”. What a blessing it was to know That the other set of parents want our kids raised exactly as we do and that we share “within our homes” the same values and beliefs.
Then Elder Rasband quotes a Prophet who was my favorite. I know we shouldn’t have favorites but President Hinkley is mine. He said once, “…Nothing will have such an impact on you, then how your kids turn out.” Dannnnng! That is when that humble pie got served to me in full force today. Nothing is as important than my kids sitting with all their parents, than Brandon and I sitting with our friends, our friends who we will be connected to throughout eternity. Nothing. Not even my fan girl selfishness, picture perfect front row family. Because the people that were sitting on the pew today are my family. We are an eternal family. It wouldn’t have been complete without then there.
Elder Rasband encouraged us to Stand in Holy Places, to make our homes a Holy Place. A “refugee from the storm.” As President Monson has called it. He promised us that even though we live in tumultuous times that if we stand in these Holy Places we will not be moved. I can honestly say that between Our house and Kelly and Lindsey’s house we have created a holy place for our children.
Elder Rasband touched on his Conference talk from The past General Conference By Devine Design. He said “there are no coincidences in the Lord’s Devine plan.” And as I looked at my family I realized we have all been placed together by Him. I felt overcome with emotion as I had a moment of weakness today, and didn’t see the big picture. I may not of had a “moment” eye to eye with Elder Rasband like I had dreamed up, but his words helped me realized the moment my family, my entire family, had today. Today, I ate that whole humble pie, whip cream, and all, and I’ve never felt more blessed.