Monday, October 7, 2013
I'll admit it right now. I stopped watching General Conference years ago. When you've lived alone as long as I have, the last thing I need is reminders of what I'm missing out on and long to be a part of. I'd rather rip off my fingernails with red hot pliers than subject myself to the torture of listening to how essential my duties as wife and mother to a family in a home of my own will affect my eternal salvation while I sit alone on my couch, surrounded by the emptiness of my one bedroom apartment sans any husband or children to share in the miracle of modern day prophets speaking for our time. Don't get me wrong. I follow and sustain our leaders, even when I feel they're ignoring one of the largest groups of second class citizens in the church. That's one reason why Elder Oaks has become one of my favorite apostles. His wife was an old maid like me until someone set them up on a blind date. My mom is convinced any day now one of the widowed general authorities of the church is going to halt general conference and pop the question to Sheri Dew. Then she can pounce on me with, "See! Sheri Dew had a good attitude, served faithfully in the church, never gave up and looked how God finally blessed her!" I always smile because my mom has no idea who Warren Jeffs is and I haven't reached menopause...yet.
Lest I find myself on the slow decent into hell, I do make the effort to catch the report of that day's session on my local evening news and go online to read the highlights posted on Salt Lake's two rivaling newspaper websites. It was the words of Elder Dallin H. Oakes that inspired me to write this newest post on being single. He was speaking on the challenges and pressures of living in a decaying world that would have us forget the importance of God's commandments of chastity and fidelity "We should remember our first priority-to serve God-and like our pioneer predecessors, push our personal handcarts forward with the same fortitude they exhibited."
I started chuckling as I realized that if our 18th century pioneer ancestors, secure in their traditional nuclear family units, had handcarts, then all the 21st century single, unmarried women are stuck with wheelbarrows. It's true! Handcarts have two wheels representing the man and his wife pulling the load equally, side by side facing all the challenges of life together while yonder stands the lonely wheelbarrow which only requires one person to maneuver it. I'd include single men in my brilliant metaphor, but who do you think is enjoying the free ride! For those that aren't currently dating, our wheelbarrows are most likely filled with all our comfort foods that help us endure our solitary lives until...what? That is the question I'm still waiting for one of the good Brethren of the church to address. Until then, don't let your wheelbarrows be filled with a lot of junk that will hinder your ability to push it down the straight and narrow path, however wobbly it becomes. Mine is filled with books and will probably tip over any second. I'd trade it in for a handcart any day, however rickety, but I don't want to pull it alone.
Until that time comes, it's always nice to lay the wheelbarrow aside and spend an evening celebrating my late September birthday with friends and family. I might be clumsy with my metaphorical wheelbarrow but I can bowl a pretty mean strike!
From left to right: my brother Mike, stepdad Alan Scholes, sister Mary Williams holding my nephew Charles, me in the red shirt, my mom, good friends Lauralee Broschinsky and Whitney Holdsworth and my nephew Calvin who was getting impatient to leave for the pizza and arcade next door.