Perpetual Plan B

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Feeling the Spirit

Today in church I was touched. I actually felt something that I feel only rarely. It was a strong feeling that reminded me of another time when I really felt the spirit of our Heavenly Father.

Now I am not musically gifted at all, so I don't LOVE church music like some people do, though I do like a nice rousing hymn now and then. The ones I really like tend to be more along the lines of How Firm a Foundation (especially the third verse), Praise to the Man, True to the Faith, and my favorite from when I was a kid, Master the Tempest is Raising. (When my girls were little, I taught myself to plunk it out on the piano a bit so when they would drive me nuts, instead of getting mad at them I'd go pound out, "The winds and the waves shall obey my will....") I do like A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, though I don't necessarily love singing it. I think it sounds really good when men sing it.

Anyway, today in Sacrament Meeting we sang the song, The Spirit of God (like a fire is burning). This is the song that the Stake Choir sang the night they dedicated our new Stake Center in Nibley back in 2004. That song was so beautiful and sung so well with the different parts and the way it was arranged that I just wanted to weep with joy. I have never felt the spirit so strong when a song was being sung. I literally just wanted to get out of there, the emotion was so strong.

The only other time in my life I have felt anything even remotely the same is when I was in Paris at the Louvre and saw the statue of Winged Victory of Samothrace. It was way back before I had kids and I felt this emotion that I didn't know what to do with. Again, the only way I can describe it is that I felt like I wanted to weep with joy. I can't even say what it is about that statue that touched me so much. I do remember the folds of the gown and the motion that it conveyed. Breathtaking. I wished I could be alone and just let out the emotionAlign Center that I felt.

Now I am not generally a weeper. (Not really, though I do shed tears quite often, but it is usually because I am embarrassed. I get embarrassed a lot. Especially at church.) I'm not necessarily an outwardly joyful person either. I try pretty hard to stay somewhat subdued. I just felt so overwhelmed by how beautiful the song and the statue were, on the two separate occasions, and how powerfully they affected me that I couldn't contain the happy emotions inside of me, they just came bubbling out. Now every time I hear that song I go back to those same emotions and struggle to keep my composure.

A lady in church said to me once that she could tell I was a "deeply religious" person. I kind of laughed it off at the time, because outwardly religious, I am not. I am not one to try to go out of my way to prove that I am religious, in fact I think I go to great pains to prove quite the opposite, that though I go to church and my husband is the bishop, I'm just a regular girl. I try really hard to not offend my friends who don't go to my church, or any church at all. And I am definitely no scriptorian or church historian. I'm one of those people who doesn't bother memorizing dates because I figure I can just look things up if I need to know them. (Well, it worked for Einstein, didn't it? What I sometimes forget is that I'm certainly no Einstein.) After thinking about it for a few years now, what I think she meant is that I keep it deep inside of myself.

This I think might be true. I don't like doing things in public, so the few times I have stood and shared my testimony, the emotions have been so strong I can't keep them inside or under control. They are powerful emotions, part fear - both of just standing up there and fear of forgetting what I want to say, or not articulating it how I want to - and the other part is because I am sharing something of myself that is so private that it is almost physically painful.

But. This blog is for my children and my family, so I do want them to know that I do have a testimony, though I struggle to share it publicly or out loud as much as I should.

I am so grateful to our Savior, Jesus Christ, for the sacrifice he made for us in the Atonement, and in taking everything upon himself so that we can repent for our sins and be healed from all things, even trials caused by other people that we didn't bring upon ourselves. He has suffered and borne our burdens so that we can lay them at his feet.

This is something that I also needed to remember today. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for this gentle reminder and all the tender mercies that happen regularly in my life, whether I notice and acknowledge them or not.

I am truly blessed. (And these are not words that I just throw around lightly.)


Bookaholic said...

I can really relate to what you say. I have a strong testimony of the Savior and his church, but I rarely bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting.

I will on occasion in Relief Society when I feel what a funny, deeply beloved guy in our ward once said: "It was get up or throw up." I can realllly relate on that one! That's the only time I stand to bear my testimony, when the Spirit is urging me so hard that I have almost a physical reaction. I probably need to repent on that one. lol

Bookaholic said...

Sorry, I commented so quickly that I didn't really thoughtfully address your post. Your comments and testimony were very sweet and touching. Thank you for sharing those heartfelt words. I'm sure your children will treasure them. You definitely lifted my spirits.