Sunday, December 07, 2008

Change Sucks... Deal with it.

I came to Church today as if it were any other Sunday. I had an activities committee meeting before hand, and I knew I had to stay after for tithing settlement. But, other than that, it was like any other Sunday, or so I thought. As soon as I walked into the chapel for sacrament meeting, I knew something was up. There were about 15 priesthood holders on the stand all trying to decide where to sit. Obviously, we weren't going to have a normal fast and testimony meeting.

After the sacrament, the stake president got up and started reading from the Church handbook about the Singles Ward and the guidelines in establishing it. This of course put me on edge because I started thinking that they might get rid of the Singles Ward, and I'd have to go to church with my family. But then he laid the bombshell on me. They were creating a singles branch in Allen to be comprised of the Allen and McKinney stakes, meaning that now the Dallas 11th ward (where I've been attending) is comprised of the Richardson and Plano stakes.

What???? What is going on? I can't tell you how many thoughts flooded my mind as they started reading and establishing this new singles branch. They had everyone stand that would be attending the new allen branch, and I refused to stand. No, I will not be going; I don't want to go to Allen. I have to move; I have to find an apartment in Plano, right now. I will just keep going to D11.

Then the person sitting next to me tells me that I have to go to Allen or my home ward. I didn't know what to do. Then, they had everyone attending the Dallas 11th ward to stand up, and I continued to sit. At that moment, I felt lost, confused, and although it's an insignificant and a ridiculous thing to get upset about, it really did shake my testimony. I had just been getting established; I was making friends and having fun. Within an hour, I had so many thoughts and emotions run through my mind as the various stake presidents stood and bore their testimony and their belief that this change is from the Lord.

I couldn't hold it back any longer, I just let the tears stream down my face. (Side note: I went to the bathroom after the meeting, and my mascara was not smeared in the slightest. Go Max Factor.) At first I kept thinking of all the ways that I wouldn't have to go to the new branch. I could just keep going to D11 and refuse to change; I could get married; I could move; I could see if I could get premission to stay. Then I thought about how I still had to help with all these activities; I couldn't just say oh well, not in the ward any more, you're on your own. In fact I still want to go to them and help with them, unofficially of course.

I'll admit it, I was angry and upset, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do, if I could even do anything. But, by the end of Church, I realized that I was just going to have to suck it up because the Gospel is true, and the Church is true. And no matter what happens, no matter what changes, the Savior will always be there for me to help me deal with these changes. I was being selfish, wanting things to work my way, but maybe it won't be that bad. I'm definitely being bitter about it all, but I know that I can't do anything about it. I'm still going to go to activities, and for the friends I made that will be in the other ward, I will definitely make the effort to see them. I'm really really trying to deal with it and be positive... but I kind of want to stew about it for a while. Don't worry, I'll get over it... I'm already starting to.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

What's wrong with Merry Christmas?

I apologize for taking so long to post something. There were many times that I wanted to post, but life got pretty crazy. My Thanksgiving was good, and yes I am thankful for loads of things... I just didn't post about it. Now that the things that prevented me from posting earlier are through with, I can now talk about one of the things that has been bugging me--Why all the hesitation in wishing someone a Merry Christmas?

I came across an article in which many retailers "tiptoe" around "Christmas," opting for the more generic, all-encompasing "Holiday." I, too, have found myself holding back my well wishes just in case because I don't want to "offend" anyone. But after thinking about it, why should I have to be so careful and be so generic when truly wishing someone well? I even bought a set of "winter" cards along with my "Christmas" cards for those people (co-workers mainly) that I was unsure whether giving them a Christmas card might not be the best idea.

You know, I respect the fact that other people have other religions and celebrate other holidays. I'm completely okay with it; good for them that they believe in something. But why does wishing someone a "Merry Christmas" saying that Christmas is the more superior religion (as a woman in the article claims)? I think that shouting "Merry Christmas" to one and all is more than just saying Christianity is better, or that Christmas is the best holiday. In fact, I think that saying "Merry Christmas" acknowledges and celebrates all those other holidays, too.

Ok, stay with me here as I explain my logic/reasoning behind my last statement. For many years I always pretended that the word Christmas came from Jesus Christ (obviously) and the Spanish word mas, meaning more. Although I know that this not where the word actually comes from, I liked thinking that it meant "more Christ." But, recently I started thinking that I had been imagining this new meaning of Christmas all wrong. Maybe, instead of it meaning "more Christ," it means "Christ and more."

I think that we should practice tolerance and understanding (which I'm sure Christ would more than approve of) for those of other faiths and religions and what they celebrate during this time of year. Yes, you could just say "Happy Holidays" and call it good and be safe. But, why not say Merry Christmas and know that it's not a way of forcing your religion on others, but as a way of showing others what you are celebrating and an encouragement for them to celebrate theirs.

If you celebrate Christmas, say it. Tell others to have a Merry Christmas too, because I know that I myself would not get offended or upset if someone shouted "Happy Hanukkah" to me. I'd even tell them to have a Merry Christmas too.