Being Normal

Don't assume that there's some theological reason why I placed this here. If anything, I needed the validation of knowing that I can still outsmart Blogger.

I watch this, and after getting my chuckle at the young nameless elder, I think of something that was said during one of my new member lessons. The sister whose home I was in said something along the lines of, "Our church is unique in that we entrust the growth of our church with 19 year old young men; the ones that are not assumed to be capable enough by others, but have proved to be more capable than the world would like to think."

I watch this elder, and his humble ability to forget to take himself too seriously, and I'm am not numbered among the concerned. If anything, I'm PROUD! I'm not the only paradox! There are others that attempt to align themselves on the straight and narrow while still remaining carefree enough to blow up a glove with their nose!

I'm also reminded of a scripture that is one of my favorites:
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word,
in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12
I love the church, and part of the reason is because of the esteem in which it regards the youth. Young men and women are respected as capable individuals with insight that is valuable to the congregation during Sacrament Meeting. On Fast Sunday, we are presented with the opportunity to share our testimonies of gospel truths. We are participants in the choir, we hold callings, and we are entrusted with a responsibility that, I admit, is sometimes hard to bear: to be a representative of the church at all times, and in all things, and in all places. We hold ourselves to standards that others ridicule us for coveting. They accuse us of being gullible and narrow-minded for conforming to such outrageous practices. But, it has been my experience, that the ones handing out condemnation could never bear such a burden.

Every day, they are the individuals joining the pop culture rat race that concerns itself with sex, money, vanity, drugs, making the grade, or any combination thereof. Even the adults; the teachers passing religious judgment behind closed classroom doors, the guidance counselors that encourage high school students to sell their soul to a heavy course load in exchange for a college acceptance letter. How relieving it is to be able to enter the church, take my usual place on the right-hand end of the second row, close my eyes, and have the world disappear from my sight.

And I think to myself, There is nothing the world can offer me that could surpass this feeling. The world will ALWAYS fall short.

I'm sure there are comments on YouTube from prejudiced Christians that mock us for our "gospel peddlers," and make fun of the Elder for being ridiculous for playing with a rubber glove. However, I cannot help but see, not a missionary, but someone's son, or someone's older brother. And I'm sure he returned to his lodgings that night, looked at pictures of his family, and thought, I miss them terribly. It's the burden that all of our missionaries undergo when they leave home to share the church's message with people that, for the most part, slam doors in their faces. I commend the missionaries for their sacrifice, and for the message they send to the world:

"Watch and be amazed as I blow this glove up with my nose and leave you speechless, because I'm just like you!"

And that, I think, is what bothers people most about Mormons.

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