This service is divided into three one-hour segments. Misty explained that the purpose of the Church Meeting in the Chapel is renewal of the Sacrament. The Sacrament is the primary focus of the service and is shared in the beginning. There were traditional Christian songs with organ music, men and boys in suits and ties, women and girls in modest clothing. This was the second most proper church that I have attended. Except for Candace, no flip-flops found here. Opps! After the Sacrament and Water there were speakers. A teenage girl was assigned a topic and spoke to the congregation. I wondered if that was a lot of pressure – to speak from the heart and be prepared and do a good job and walk away unscathed? My question on this was answered when the third speaker, a newcomer to the ward, joked about his friend fainting when presenting his topic. The second speaker did an excellent job conveying her faith and belief. Her assigned topic was Desire which leads us to set our priorities and work toward righteous goals. There was a strong conviction for family and marriage.
The second hour Misty and Jon took me to the newcomer meeting. Interestingly enough the topic was on Tithing and the blessings and protection that we receive when we happily tithe. The attendees spoke about the belief that we must tithe first and then pay the bills. The concept is that we cannot afford not to give. This really struck a chord with me. I used to donate regularly and am guilty of letting the habit slide, especially in a tough economy. Recently the Kimura Family has had a spate of bad luck. I was starting to feel overwhelmed by it all and started tracking these unfortunate events which began in June of this year. Last Thursday I felt simply worn out by the latest whatever and had a little, but powerful breakdown. Almost all of the events are recoverable; except for the stitches Candace received. On their own they are minor inconveniences but put together I felt that I was being sent a message. I just couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to learn or hear. I believe that we must pay attention to coincidences in our lives – they are a message. I made a connection and have re-dedicated myself to being generous and tithing. All the money we have spent on termites and stitches and emergency ovarian surgery, car door repairs and tires with bolts and special healing medicines for broken skin, and on and on…could have been better spent fulfilling God’s will. Tithing requires discipline. This one session may be worth its weight in gold. So there it is and I will move forward.
In the third hour the Men and Women have their own group meetings and the children continue on with their classes. Candace went off with the children so she had an amazing time. We sang a couple of songs and said a couple of prayers. It was all very quiet and calm. The group leader did a recap on the recent Conference. The ladies were friendly and it is obvious that they are heavily involved in many activities. I wonder how they do it all – it’s actually pretty amazing.
The Church has no paid ministers or priests. The Bishop has a “day job” and the Church and members are highly involved and structured. They mentioned their cannery, community farm and Desert Industries, which is the Mormon version of Goodwill. The young men go on missions.
A very good day and so happy to learn more about a religion that many of us see in our communities. Thank you Jon and Misty for all the books and reading materials. I do appreciate your generosity so much.