Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sometimes God answers prayers in not-so-subtle ways

About six years ago I was sitting in Relief Society at church and I was just *done* with it. The lady talking had the most annoying high-pitched Relief Society voice you can imagine and she was saying all sorts of horrible judgemental things designed to make me feel as guilty as possible. I tried staring at the chandelier, tried using my wedding ring as a reflective surface to see what I could see behind me, tried even saying the alphabet to myself. But when it came time for the closing prayer, all distraction-techniques failed me and I had to listen. Oh, horror. The lady giving the prayer was quite possibly the most self-righteous person on the planet and the Rameumpton-like speech she gave in her self-important low-toned voice put me over the edge.

I plugged my ears. Decided I would say my own prayer. And--through my gritted teeth and rage-tears--decided that I would give God an ultimatum.

"God," I said. (Saying God instead of Heavenly Father was sorta part of the ultimatum, I think. I felt like it just barely borded on blasphemy.) "You have approximately 60 seconds to give me a *&^%$# good reason not to just turn my back on all of these mean old b*&^%es because I swear, I will *leave* this church."

When everyone else got up, I did, too. And we all filed directly into Sacrament Meeting. I found my husband, sat down next to him. Noted that God's 60 seconds were just about up and contemplated leaving immediately instead of having to sit through sacrament meeting.

But just then, Gordon B. Hinckley walked through the front door.

Now, the prophet casually strolling into Sacrament Meeting is sort of akin to the Pope just happening to stop by your neighborhood parish: shocking. It does. not. happen. Steve and I gave each other the WTH? look.

Of course, they asked him to say something to us. (Poor Gordon never got to just *go* to sacrament meeting, I bet.) He hobbled up to the podium, surveyed us all and said with an atypical frown, "Now, I know a lot of you. And you know what I know about you? You're kind of mean. You're kind of self-righteous. For heaven's sake, you need to learn how to be a litte kinder. A little more like Christ. Try treating everyone like a neighbor for once."

I think I might have started an all out weep-fest.

"That'll work, God," I said.

Thanks, Gordon, for being a prophet I was so proud of.
(Gordon B. Hinckley: 1910-2008)


Audra said...

I love that story. Thanks for sharing.

My~ Travels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My~ Travels said...

Fantastic! And so you.

My~ Travels said...

PS--this is Amanda

Mother Goose said...

Wow! I wish some of my prayers would be answered by a prophet!

Patti said...

Thank you. I needed that.

Man o Steel said...

speaking of Rameumptums. There is the most amazing hymn my mother found one day. I was impressed. It is called Ye Simple Souls Who Stray(118). Here are excerpts

Ye simple souls who stray
far from the path of peace
that lonely unfrequented way to life and happiness
We witness better things,
For he whose blood is all our boast
has made us priests and kings
Our righteousness divine
On all the kings of earth
With pity we look down;
And claim in virtue of our birth
A never fading crown.

I was very impressed. Isn't that the weirdest hymn ever? I was very impressed.