Saturday, January 09, 2010

Going to the wrong church

Over the New Year Holiday weekend our family took a trip to Bountiful Utah where we were invited to a New Year Celebration. The party took place at my Brothers house up on the hill. We had a great time and enjoyed ourselves very much. As Sunday rolled around we decided to go to my brothers ward at 9:00am so that we could get on the road so we weren't too late getting back home. As we gathered all of the kids in the car, we took off in a caravan to attend Blake's church. My Mom and Dad led the way since they new which church Blake attended. There is an LDS Church on about every corner so it isn't that obvious which church you attend. So, we traveled up to the church, entered through the back, and found seats in the gym. We settled down for a nice fast and testimony meeting. As we tried keep our kids from falling asleep and from beating on each other we discovered that the chapel had "stadium seating". It was strange. The chapel had a slight downward slope to it so that the back rows of the chapel where about the same height as the raised podium. From the gym, where we were sitting, it was really hard to see the speakers at the podium because they were only at eye level.

After the sacrament had been passed around, we noticed that Blake and Estee had still not arrived. They were only a minute behind us when we left the house so there was no way that they were just late. We then realized that we were not at Blake's ward. We really couldn't pick up and leave in the middle of the meeting so we decided to just stay. Plus, if this wasn't Blake's ward, which building was?

Anyway, as we peered around the members in front of us, we could get small glimpses of the people on the stand. As I scanned to the right of the stand, I could see the men that were presiding at the meeting. At the very end of the bench, there was a man that I thought looked like Elder Bednar. As many of you might know, all of the mormon men in Utah look the same. Most of the leaders walking around look like Elder Bednar so I shrugged it off and went back to managing the sleepy kids. I did, however, continue to study this "Bendar Look-a-like". Of course, I was in the gym and my eye site isn't what it used to be. I decided to entrust my findings with my wife. I pointed him out to her and then took Savanna out in the hall so she could use the restroom.

When I got back, Deanna leaned over to me and said, "I think you are right, that might be Elder Bednar." Wow, that was cool. Deanna, with even worse eye site than mine, agreed with me. With this confirmation, I leaned over to my parents to get their opinion. As they bobbed and weaved their heads to get a better look at the gentleman on the stand, my Mom reported that she was pretty sure that he was Elder Bednar. I immediately turned to my son Coby and pointed out that there was Apostle up on the stand. He squinted his eyes and gave a small grin as he picked out Elder Bednar from the men in front. Then, he leaned back over to me and reported, "Ya Dad, and I think the guy next to him is Elder Hales." I grinned in disbelief and stuck my head up above the crowd and sure enough, on the right hand of Elder Bednar was Elder Hales. I relayed this message down the pew and in seconds we were all looking at each other with huge grins on our faces and in complete shock. It isn't every day that an Apostle attends your church meetings. In fact, in Twin Falls, it never happens!

As the meeting went on, we became privy to the fact that these two Apostles were attending their "Home" ward. No wonder everyone in the chapel was so casual about these two very iconic general authorities attending their sacrament meeting.

After the meeting, I was determined to go up and meet both of these men so I marched myself into the chapel area with my kids in tow to meet both of the Apostles. This is a big deal since I have only met one other Apostle in my life. If you want to read about it, you can view it on my post at Anyway, back to the story, we went into the chapel to track down Elder Bednar but he went out the side door to another meeting. However, Elder Hales walked up the isle right towards us, so I stuck out my hand and introduced myself. He looked at me for a second, smiled and said hello. I introduced each of my family members which were standing in a line like the partridge family and he shook each of their hands. He asked us where we were from and we replied that we were from Idaho. Just as he was leaving he said, "My sister raised 6 kids in Burley Idaho." We looked at each other and thought, "We know people in Burley!", but, he had already left.

So, even though we were at the "Wrong" Church, we were at the "Right" Church.

Elder Hales

Elder Bednar


Clark Draney said...

What a great experience. I overhead just the end part of it on Sat. night. Glad to hear the whole thing.

Two lines really made me laugh--

"bobbed and weaved" and

"like the partridge family."

Well done!

Melinda said...

That would be so WAY cool. I wish we could have been there to go to the wrong RIGHT church.
Blake needs to move....down the way a bit to get in the wrong RIGHT ward.

Marni said...

Did your brother feel bad that he went to the "wrong" ward? :)

Susan said...

Just an interesting side note about Tiffany. She stayed home from church that morning because Cassidy was sick. After she heard of your experience she felt REALLY bad. She kept asking in her mind if she had just skipped church because it was too hard to get the kids ready and in doing so missed that experience. She worried about it for weeks! One day she said she had it on her mind...when a thought came...if she had gone with us we would have gone to Blake's church because she KNEW which one it was...and in doing so would have prevented YOU from having the experience that you had. A tender mercy for her.