Courage at Twilight: Off to Church

We drive 200 yards to church—walking is just not an option.  I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  First, a little context.  Our local church units are called wards.  The ward one attends depends on where one lives.  So, moving from Tooele to Sandy, my church record was transferred from the Westland Ward to the Crescent 18th Ward.  A bishop presides over each ward.  Every ward member is given the opportunity to contribute to the ward’s functioning (e.g., teaching youth classes) and to minister to the ward’s members.  All ward members serve voluntarily, without pay.  My first Sunday in the new ward, the bishop stood at the pulpit and invited to stand, telling the congregation of several hundred that I was new to the ward, and that I had moved in with my parents to help take care of them.  As I stood up, I resisted the almost irresistible urge to tuck in my shirt and pull up my slacks.  I am what I am; let them see me.  I felt the unusual nature of my situation: an older single man moving in with his octogenarian parents.  And I was sure Dad felt chagrined and being identified publicly as needing to be “taken care of.”  But these are all good people, many of whom approached me after the meeting to welcome me enthusiastically into the ward.  “I’m Brad.”  “I’m Ann.”  “I’m Bishop Callister.”  “So glad to meet you.  Your parents are such wonderful people.”

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