Had a Weird Moment

by La

I was putting my near-toddler son to bed, but I was at my sister’s house, so I layed him on my niece’s bed. He likes to go to bed with his bottle and classical music. My niece only had 1 CD in her stereo, and thank goodness it happened to be soft, instrumental music. But here’s the thing: the music was the instrumental version of the Young Women songs.

When I was in Young Women’s, I lived and breathed for my classes, activites, sports, friends and leaders. Firesides were amazing! I took pride in repeating the YW motto, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him…..” Some of my most spiritual experiences came out of that time in my life. This was the era of the rope analogy called “hold to the rod” (I think), which affected me in a poignant way. I sucked all this stuff up. YW must’ve been organized for girls like me.

So when I heard a piano softly start playing, my mind began singing the words “I walk by faith, a daughter of heavenly parents. Divine am I in nature by inheritance…” These deep seated feelings of love and devotion came rushing back instantly, and then they were squashed because that’s all over now. It was a quiet moment of grieving. I had to shake off the tears, and consciously return to the task at hand: getting the baby to sleep.

Here’s my analytical pat on the back: When I love, it’s deep and loyal. It doesn’t just go away because I got a paper in the mail saying I’m not a member anymore. My love for the scriptures is still there too, even though I don’t read them now. And do you know what? After I’m finished being sad for that loss, I think I’ll actually keep the old love for those things. I think it is a unique and beautiful thing about me, that I don’t hold a grudge. The end 🙂

Originally posted March 29, 2006.

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12 Responses

  1. Hellmut says:

    I can relate to that. In my ward, we had a stellar youth program, just the right mix of support and self-reliance. The sad thing was that our enthusiasm really set us up for being heart broken by the correlated church on our missions.

    Those were good times and I like to remember them. I am still in touch with quite a few of my boyhood friends even though I moved several times. Last year, I even tried to reach out to my old bishop but that did not work too well. I might try again sometimes.

  2. fta says:

    I had a very similar experience recently. When trying to put my kid to bed, the only songs I could think of to sing him were primary songs. I always found comfort in those songs. I still do. But at the same time, I couldn’t bring myself to sing to my son about Heavenly Father and Jesus. I hummed the tunes instead.

  3. JulieAnn says:

    That was beautiful. I still tear up if I hear “Come, Come, Ye Saints”. I know all of those Janice Kapp Perry songs because I was a soloist and sang all over the place (in LDS Land), so I find myself still singing them on occasion. Music is really a powerful way to bind experiences to our consciousness (thus subconsciously). Thanks for this post *still wiping my eyes* :0)

  4. chanson says:

    I can completely relate to this. I think it’s typical for post-Mormons to have a whole lot of feelings — both positive and negative — towards the Mormon elements of their childhood, and especially to make an emotional connection through music.

    I know everyone thinks I’m crazy for this, but I still listen to Saturday’s Warrior sometimes, and I even have my kids dance to it with me. But a huge part of it is the happy memories of putting on this record and singing along the different parts with my brothers and sisters as a kid…

  5. Hellmut says:

    I have never seen Saturday Warriors. I am wondering if we could turn it into a Mormon Rocky Horror Picture show.

  6. Pete Dunn says:

    So… this is where all my readers have gone. I guess I better get on board, eh?

  7. Hellmut says:

    Welcome, Pete. We love your company.

  8. Hueffenhardt says:

    I can relate. My wife and I have been thinking a lot lately about what we can keep from our old Mormon culture. It is crazy how we are conditioned to feel certain feelings to certain songs or scriptures. Yet, now on top of those peaceful emotions are the emotions of disappointment and irritation.

    The other night, my wife picked out primary hymns that are still consistent with our beliefs that we want to teach to our son as he grows older. We are atheist/agnostic, yet spiritual. I, meanwhile, modified other primary hymns. You can see a few examples here: http://entreated.blogspot.com/2007/03/adapting-familiar-lds-hymns-for-atheist.html

  9. The Sacred Sister® says:

    Thanks for sharing this story; your words are very true. I’m getting a little teary myself.
    I attended my grandmother’s funeral not too long ago. My sister and I sang, “I Walk by Faith” and my cousin accompanied us on the piano; it has always been a very special song to all of us, including my grandmother who taught in YWs for many, many years.
    I was easily able to sing along to many of the songs during her service, without a hymnal. Over the years, I often find myself humming them and I think moments like that give my poor parents hope that I will return to the church.
    My grandmother and I used to sing church hymns whenever I visited her, so I learned many of them when I was a very small child. I honestly feel like they are ingrained in my soul, it’s something that I will always carry with me.

  10. Sideon says:

    The music sounds almost as scary as Barney.

    No. Even more scary than a dancing and singing purple dinosaur.

  11. La, this was a beautiful post. I can relate to the feelings certain songs give me when I hear them or hum them.

    And why is it I always find myself singing them in the bathroom?? What’s UP with that??


  12. chanson says:

    Hellmut — absolutely, Saturday’s Warrior is halfway there already. That’s why it’s so much fun!!!

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