Did anybody click on the link Daniel posted to that talk Orrin Hatch gave in DC, where he quotes J. Golden Kimball as saying to a congregation “This is God’s Shit List and you’re all on it.” I’m taking it to my visiting teaching lady who hates the church, but the others I’m taking what I ran off on the link Kaimi posted to FMH “WHM Mothering Sunday” which is a wonderful gentle post about “this is the church” by Kristine.

Here’s a link to the article.

I think we all have at least one “this is the church” experience. Kristine relates “This is the church where my Sunday School teacher let me climb out the window and hid under the lilac bushes for most of Sunday School time once a month or so, because he saw I was sad little girl who needed time and quiet…”

I’ve complained a lot about my ward and it is a crazy ward. We have some certifiables in our ward, although I hesitate to say that because I’m one of them. We have some cast iron bad words too, but I’m also one of those. We have our share of hypocrites and misogynist jerks and morons.

I’ve taken a lot of heat because I’m an activist in the area of sexual assault survivors and we have more than our share in this ward. It’s been a rough couple of years as the son of one family went to prison for raping a girl (who I visit taught) and the son of another went to jail for molesting girls in our neighborhood. I stood tall and took that heat, but it’s been hard.

I’ve been in this ward since 1979, twenty-eight years. In this time, my son committed suicide, my stepchildren descended into a life of drug and alcohol addiction, my marriage has gone through huge ups and downs, and I’ve gone through a memorable menopause.

But, reflecting on Kristine’s post, this is the church (Cottonwood Ward) where Bishop Smith (not his real name, he threatened me he’d kill me if I ever wrote about him, but that was the newspaper, I think this doesn’t quite count) disfellowshipped me in 1980, with tears in his eyes because he hated to do it, then the next year reinstated me, again crying, this time happy tears.

Gee, I’m taking a long time getting to the point.

The “Smiths” have lived across the street from me all these years. They have been my stellar examples and stalwart friends through all my whacked out times. They have five children, all married in the temple. Their boys served missions and are good hardworking honest men today. Bishop Smith is now the patriarch of our stake and his wife is our ward Relief Society president.

I could go on and praise them endlessly and it would be deserved praise. There are some who are envious of their good fortune, but I am here to tell you they earned every bit of it. THEY KEPT THE COMMANDMENTS, every word. They have never murmured, as I have. I’ve watched them closely and tried as much as I could, being deeply flawed and weak, to follow that example.

There are others I watch, some are here on the bloggernacle. I watch you, I hear your words of faith and I glom on as you would never imagine, hanging on by my fingernails trying to do what’s right.

I know that keeping the commandments is not guarantee of good fortune and the Smiths, along with other righteous families, have had their share of trials. However, as I watch my stepchildren go further down the path of sin and unhappiness, I believe that obedience to the commandments is an effective plan for avoiding a lot of problems in life.

No one gets out of life without heartache, but much of it is of our own making when we choose to reject God’s counsel and live our own laws. I am so grateful for families like the Smiths and others who have given me that sure example to follow as I navigate the rocky shoals of existence. Thanks to every one of you.