I Fear I'm Going, Going, Gone
by Kerry Blair
There are things about this Church the missionaries don’t tell you. This is a good thing.
Oh, sure, they’ll tell you everything they know about the Plan of Salvation. They’ll recite Joseph Smith’s first prayer by heart—and maybe even sing a few bars if you happen to get a BYU music major like I did. You’ll be fully informed of the importance of tithing, and exhorted to give up iced tea and an over-abundance of red meat. But ask them just how many meetings a ward Young Women’s president attends and they’ll suddenly remember a pressing engagement on the other side of town.
There are some things it is better not to know before baptism.
I knew nothing. When I joined the LDS Church as a young adult, I was the only member in my extended family, the only member in my circle of friends, the only member on my block. In fact, I could name exactly one Latter-day Saint—and that was Donny Osmond. Perhaps if I’d moved a little slower, investigated a little more, and taken time to observe Mormons in their natural habitat, I might have thought to look before I leaped into the font. Alas, the testimony was there. All I lacked was any knowledge whatsoever of what I was getting myself into.
Does anybody else ever wonder what Methodists do with all their free time? I try not to dwell on this overmuch, but it has occurred to me that being LDS is as exhausting as it is exhilarating. While the gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, some of us manage to magnify our “discipleships” all out of proportion.
By “some of us” I mean me.
I figure that since joining the Church I have spent fifty full days of my life writing scripts and making costumes for various ward and stake productions. (Oh, wait! Fifty days would only be 1200 hours. You’d better double that number; square it to be sure.) I’ve spent eight or nine days putting up and/or taking down folding tables and chairs. I’ve made enough funeral potatoes and baked enough rolls to invite a small third-world country to a sit-down dinner. If you took all the yarn I’ve used to tie quilts, weave hats, and teach Beehives to crochet and stretched it out while walking backwards . . . I have no idea how far you’d get, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if you ended up back where you started—at least once.
I try not to dwell upon how important any of those things will be in the grand, eternal scheme of things. Rather, I keep pressing on because . . . well . . . I figure that if you can’t do great things, you should at least try to do the mundane things with great dedication. Right now, the black hole into which I am casting every spare minute of my mortality is a quest to bring to pass Apostle Orson F. Whitney’s prophesy regarding great literature by members of the Church. No, I’m not writing it! (I tried that once and it didn’t exactly work out for me.) I’ve turned my attention instead to encouraging and supporting the rest of you in your quests. (And I mean you, Julie Coulter Bellon!) Specifically, I am trying to run the online Whitney Benefit Auction.
Like baptism, this was my idea. Once again, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Let’s just say that if I took all of that aforementioned yarn and used it to lash together all of those aforementioned chairs to build a tower from which Robison Wells (in the regrettable absence of Elder Whitney) could preach, it would be easier—and certainly more eye-catching—than this auction.
Where is everybody? We should be doing way better than we are. We’ve got incredible stuff: Autographed books and gifts, valuable editing packages going for a song, designer clothing, home decorating accents, silk ties, massages, handcrafted note cards, food items, fine art, gorgeous jewelry, book publishing packages, children’s clothing, a family photo shoot, and much, much, much, much more. (We have, in fact, several things you can't buy anywhere else.) Fortunately, we have several loyal customers for whom I’m eternally grateful. But, people, Deb and Stephanie can’t buy it all! (Although they do seem rather determined to prove me wrong.)
If you haven’t seen the site lately, you haven’t seen it at all. Several auctions are ending very soon, so I put up more than a dozen new items and services yesterday. I’m putting up a dozen more today—including my own packages of baseball tickets, Hopi jewelry, prickly pear jelly, and an Official Nightshade Ghost-Hunting Kit. (Just where else do you think you’re going to find that?)
So . . . yes, you caught me. For the third or fourth time, my Friday blog is nothing more than a thinly-disguised ad for the Whitney Auction. There are two Fridays left in the month, but I’ll make you a deal—you all go bid your little hearts out for a very, very worthwhile cause, and I’ll promise to change the subject next week. If you’re really good, (and we raise at least $500 this week) I could probably even come up with a celebrity guest blogger!