Justin and I took a little road trip this past weekend. We drove up to Missouri to attend the baptism of his twin brothers son, Hosea. It was a great trip and we really enjoyed the time there with family. (Even if we did discover that Timothy does not like sleeping in a play pen... Ugh!) it was wonderful to be able to visit with them and enjoy their company, and celebrate the wonderful choice Zea made to be baptized.
But there was something else that really touched me this weekend. And to get to that I have to give a little bit of back ground. In our church, every year we have a program put together by the leaders of our primary program, the program for kids ages 3-11. The kids learn songs throughout the year. And they help in writing out a speaking program. Each of the children help write their parts by answering questions or sharing experiences or bearing a testimony. It is honestly one of my favorite Sundays. It can be chaotic. It can be crazy. Sometimes the kids speak really loudly into the microphone and sometimes you can't understand a word they say. But you always feel the spirit of the message. How could you not, think about listening to a bunch of children tell you why they believe in Christ. It's always wonderful. The songs are the same in all primaries around the country and the speaking parts are different.
Our primary program in our ward was scheduled for yesterday, September 22. When Brett and Angie planned the baptism, I was under the very incorrect impression that the program was going to be the week before. They scheduled the baptism on the 21 because it was the weekend Justin was off and could be there. When I realized I had misunderstood the dates, I was so sad for the kids. They love the primary program just as much as I do and were really sad to miss it. I had to sadly tell the leaders that the kids wouldn't be there.
Then I found out that Brett and Angie's ward was also having the primary program yesterday. I asked if she would mind if my kids joined in singing with them, because that way they can at least be a part of it. She is the primary president for their ward. She told me she wasn't sure because the stage the kids sit on is very small and she wasn't sure if there would be room.
In the end, it turned out there were three kids who weren't there. My kids were able to help them out by reading those parts and sitting in their chairs and filling in for them. They had a great time and really enjoyed being able to do that. And it brought tears to my eyes watching and listening to them sing about Christ. Collin's line had we been in OKC for the program was going to be "my name is Collin Clayton, I am a builder, but most importantly I am a Child of God." What a great message for them to be a part of. It just so happened that the messages that Angie and her other leaders chose to use were the same. Collin didn't get the same line, but there were other kids in the program who said similar things. "I am a dancer, but most importantly I am a Child of God."
I really enjoyed the program a lot. Just like I always do!
But that wasn't what impressed me yesterday. I sat listening to my kids sing and share messages and be a part of a program 364 miles away from our own ward. And they were able to feel a part of that program. They weren't with their own ward, they weren't with their own leaders but they are part of the primary program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And as part of that primary program they are a part of a world wide church. The significance of that is monumental, in my mind. No matter where we go in our lives, we will have that church, teaching the same doctrine, teaching the same messages, helping us come closer to Christ. No matter where we are. Because my kids were part of our church, they were able to go to church 364 miles away from our home and still be a part of a primary program sharing the same message and songs and spirit they would have at home.
Among all the things that I love about my membership in this church, that is one of the things that is the greatest. In about 22 months, we will be packing up our lives and taking our family somewhere in the country to complete a 1 year fellowship. Following that, we will pack up our family again to move us to our future home and settle in there. Through both of those big moves and changes and uprooting we will come home to a gospel we know and love because where ever we go, we will be a part of this worldwide church. We have instant connections. People to help us move, people to help us get to know the area, instant friends almost. I don't say that to brag, I say that because that is what I am a part of. An instant family 300 or 500 or 1000 miles a way from home. It is amazing to me that I can be a part of something that big and amazing.
Driving my kids 364 miles away and missing something was not the way I thought I would find a new found love for the community that I am a part of within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It really is life changing. And if you would like me to, I'd be happy to help you see how life changing it could be.
My name is Jaidi Clayton, I am a mother and a wife; but most importantly I am a Child of God.
"4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
(Moroni 10:4-5- http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/10?lang=eng )