Sunday, September 14, 2014

About Elijah.

Lately, I have been pondering a little whether I have done a disservice to my kids by raising them in Utah. 
It's a great place to live--really.
But so many things are taken for granted-
like, everyone is a member (not true) 
and every member is a faithful one (obviously not true) 
and that your kids will always have good, influential friends to count on (again not true)
But perhaps we are a little soft and unchallenged.
And maybe the lack of diversity in faiths
can lead to a lesser conviction to our beliefs if we are not careful. 
For me, I know this is not true, but for my kids? I worry...

Last month, we attended a ward in Orlando 
and I got a little nostalgic. 
A speaker with a beautiful southern accent testified of gospel truths that apply to blended families trying to make sense of life's curve balls. 
Another speaker, spoke about her testimony of Joseph Smith
and how after a period of inactivity, 
it was that testimony that brought her back. 
It reminded me just a little of my Atlanta ward, growing up--
somewhat eclectic in its membership. 
It was a sweet feeling, and I didn't want to leave.

Don't get me wrong, I love Utah- it offers a unique experience for a Mormon, but it has its challenges.
Sometimes I wonder what a little more diversity would do for us.
If being different would bring a little more strength to our character, and more conviction to our beliefs. 
I don't know. 

All this to say, that when the Neeley family invited Elijah to try out a college program in Washington with his cousins this school year...I had to give it some serious thought and prayer.
He was eager to get away from Provo and its culture, 
too eager I am afraid :)
But in the end we let him go.
There isn't a day that goes by that my eyes don't shed a few tears and my heart isn't a little bit heavier (sigh).

But after a beautiful Stake Conference weekend, I am reaffirmed in my belief we are in the right place at the right time.
And though it might sound strange, 
my religion comes second to my faith.
My faith, no matter where I live, will always be in Jesus, first and foremost.
Provo, Utah may not be perfect, but it's a perfectly wonderful place to be.

Shabbat Shalom.