This last Sunday was Stake Conference, which is a large gathering of members in the East Fresno County area.
Ryan and I attended the Sunday morning session. I went with a bit of apprehension.
Sunday morning Stake Conference has often been a reunion of sorts. It is a twice-a-year meeting in which I see those I have known in the past. We exchange greetings and small talk.
This doesn’t sound too terrible, except that I often see those I grew up with, leading their cluster of squirmy and restless children. Seeing these people again and noticing… “Oh, they have 3 children now” “That newlywed couple is pregnant already” “Wow, her kids have grown up”.
That is difficult.
I also see those adults who knew me as a child. For a while, the small talk centered around Ryan and I, and our family planning. “Any kids yet?”, although, that has faded over time (not sure if that is a good thing or not).
I am also apprehensive about the topics that will be presented. Family is a huge part of our beliefs, and it seems inevitable that the topic of parenting or the importance of families will be approached at some point. I remember a couple years ago hearing the good ol’ “multiply and replenish the earth – it’s a commandment!” sermon. Anxiously, I left the room as fast as I could, tears running down my face, bursting into the bathroom, only to see a girl I once babysat in there, rocking her baby.
So, sufficed to say, Stake Conference isn’t always my favorite day.
Even so, surrounded by family, I attended Stake Conference. As the speakers made their rounds, I leaned over to Ryan and said, “I haven’t heard the talk that was just for me. I want to hear something that was written just for me to hear.”
The last speaker was our Stake President. Sure enough, the topic turned to families. Children… and what blessings they are. Oh, no. Not again.
But then he said something I don’t think I will ever forget. He said, “I tread lightly on this topic, because I know there are some out there who are unable to have children.”
Oh my gosh, I wasn’t forgotten.
He went on to tell his story, of how he and his wife had their little family, but they always felt that there was another little girl who was supposed to be with them. Time passed, and soon his youngest was 18. He told God, “If this last child is meant to be with us, You better send her soon. I am not getting any younger here!” He was 48 years old when she was born. Their family finally felt complete.
He told the story about Abraham and Rebecca from the Bible. Upon learning they were going to finally have a son (in their late stage of life), they laughed, which can also be translated to mean rejoiced.
“And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”
I picture the laughing and rejoicing that will occur in my home someday.
With tears in his eyes, our Stake President talked about waiting those 18 years for their daughter. He admitted that there are some who wait longer, and without other children. Then he read the following from the Doctrine and Covenants: “The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
He talked about how, one way or another, we will all have our dominion, or our posterity. This was comforting to me.
After the Stake President had sat down, and we began to sing the closing song, Ryan leaned over to me and said, “Well, you got your talk.” I am grateful to the Stake President, and to my Heavenly Father, for not forgetting me this Sunday.
I received a package yesterday. It is a necklace which reads one simple word, “Eventually”. This word is a blessing and a curse. A comfort during times when I feel my situation will never change, and a reminder during times of anxiety and impatience.
My dominion will be everlasting someday, and without compulsory means it will flow unto me forever and ever. A promise that is worth waiting for, and will be mine… eventually.