I lead the music in sacrament meeting which is pretty funny because I cannot sing a lick. I’m tone deaf and can’t read music. But I can count time and I smile and I love music, so it’s working, for now. I have a couple of strong singers in the congregation who know I will be following them. I’ve taped myself singing a few times and it’s pretty funny, but I still love to sing.

A couple of weeks ago, the organist failed to practice the closing song which was “All Creatures of Our God and King.” So she said she was going to set the organ to play the song—I guess the organs nowadays have the accompaniement in them. She had a little trouble with the buttons, but got them set (I thought) and we successfully went through the song several times before church.

I should have know there were going to be problems when I got up to lead the closing song. I stood there for about fifteen seconds of silence before the song began. I led the first couple of beats, then the music quit altogether. I just kept on a-going and the congregation got a good listen to my real voice because I sang it out. I wasn’t quitting. Somehow, she’d set the organ so fast that it skipped notes. I just kept singing. It stopped again in the middle of the song, but we kept going. Luckily, a young man was visiting who had a strong and beautiful voice and he wasn’t shy about. I thought “you will be our organ.” By the end of the song, I was kind of livid at my friend, who had to fool around with the organ, (hell we could have sung without the organ altogether and been fine).

The faces in the congregation were pretty priceless—-confusion, then hilarity. A couple were openly snickering. I couldn’t keep a straight face. We got through the dang song and I laughed it off. My friend tried to pin it on me because I told her I didn’t want the song to drag, but it clearly wasn’t set right, so I told her I was blaming her for everything. And she laughed.

I shared this with another friend a few days later and she said “some people would have been devastated at that.” There was a time when I might have been devastated; I’ve screwed up before and beat the crap out of myself for it. My friend, however, simply shrugged it off. I was impressed at her self confidence because even though I wasn’t devastated, I did think maybe I needed to be released because I just can’t take the calling seriously enough. My friend, on the other hand, is firm in her belief in her golden butt—she doesn’t worry about going to the Celestial Kingdom!

We pay a lot of lip service to being gentle on ourselves and avoiding perfectionism, but many of us still expect it of ourselves. Because we’re all human, screw-ups inevitably happen. When they do, guys, emulate my hubris-filled friend and laugh it off. God probably laughed all the way through that song.