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For the good times...

This morning on the treadmill I found myself distracted by memories and smells that seemed to come out of nowhere.  For me, this is edging a bit too close to danger.  Not because of the memories, but because of the apparatus moving beneath my feet. There is a reason I am a writer and not a dancer.  I am so much safer sitting in my office chair in front of my laptop than I am, well, walking. 

The little girl in me bubbled up into my consciousness this morning.  I remembered her when she danced around the foyer in pure joy after receiving her first small, green token of belonging in Primary.  My CTR ring was the special emblem that tied me to the place where I felt warmth and love.  I turned it over and over on my finger until a grayish ring appeared. 
I can still smell the clean crispness of the chapel.  I loved Easter.  I always wore a new Easter dress with all of the trappings.  I loved to trace my white gloved finger along the blue upholstery of the pew.  I would stare at my feet and wiggle my toes under the stiff white shoes that came with the new dress.  My little lacy hat was always placed on top of the coat rack the minute we entered the foyer.  That was the only bad part of Easter Sunday, wondering why on earth I could not walk around in all of my finery.
At twelve, we were inactive; my mother was divorced for the second time, and we were back living in the South.  We were near our family members who were LDS.  I was beginning to miss the connection to the Church; the instant bond that made no strangers out of new faces.  I remember one cold evening in late December when a group of women I barely recognized traveled all the way out to the farm we were living on and gave me something wonderful.  It was a birthday cake, white with fluffy frosting, a fresh pink carnation, and a copy of my own Personal Progress book.  There was also a card with stickers, an issue of The New Era, and plenty of hugs and smiles.  I felt special. 
That New Era eventually fell apart after I read, reread, and read it again.  I saved the carnation in the freezer.  The card was placed inside my Book of Mormon; it was one of those paperback editions with the Golden Plates on the cover.  Later, when I went back to church on my own, I absorbed absolutely everything I could from Young Women’s classes.  I saved every lesson handout, pinning them faithfully to my bulletin board in my room at home.
We moved all over when I was a child.  I saw the inside of many different chapels from Missouri west.  One of my favorites was the chapel in Wyoming where a real pipe organ played the hymns for Sacrament Meetings.  What I remember more than anything is the sense of belonging when the chapel doors opened. 
There really in no point to this walk down memory lane.  Memories like this stir up a little sadness as I think about the tribe I left behind.  I suppose the lesson to me is that warm memories are gentle reminders that I did feel love as a Latter-day Saint.  Part of me misses that now.  Sometimes it is a good thing to look past the negative, past the disbelief, and cherish the good that was, and is, part of every LDS congregation.


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Welcome to The Peacewriter.

We all want to belong somewhere, to someone. It is a basic human need.

If you have ever experienced a period of doubt or questioned your beliefs in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you know that this is not a minor thing. It is tantamount to a crisis, and one that can be life altering.

Lose your testimony, and you stand to lose everything that matters.

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