Kate and I took this picture Saturday night. Kate had asked another photographer if she could use his picture to print out for out wall. He never responded so we decided to just take our own picture. We were hoping to get a really blue sky, but since the sun set right behind the temple and there was a lot of pollution that day it turned out a little more gray.
Posts tagged: Temple
On Friday night we went to do sealings with our ward at the San Diego Temple. It is a majestic building in a holy place. The assignment for our ward was well attended with amazing, amazingly busy people who took time out o their Friday night to serve and worship. The oldest member of the group was, I imagine, close to 80 years old & the youngest probably in her early 20s. I was very impressed by the individual and collective devotion of this eclectic group.
After the temple one of the young couples invited us to Coldstone for ice cream. Never ones to turn down ice cream, we enthusiastically agreed & met them and another couple at the shop. We sat outside with our fudgey gooey treats and conversed in the always perfect San Diego air. We learned a little bit about them, they learned a little bit about us. Often the jovial conversation tends to take a turn for the worst when new people learn a little bit about us. First, they learn we don’t have the same last name. Then, they learn that we met at an anti-Wal Mart film that I screened at BYU. This is when my skeptical shield begins to come up. Glancing at them with distrust I automatically launch into a schpiel about why Wal Mart is a bad place to shop (usually whether or not they questioned the premise with anything more than a raised eyebrow).
Feeling our independent-minded tendencies are exposed I go on the defensive.
The topic in this particular lactose binge chat turned to Proposition 8 which is a big deal in California, especially to Mormons. It is an amendment proposition to amend the California constitution to define marriage as one between a man and a woman only. Most Mormons in the area spend their Saturdays knocking doors & calling people trying to recruit votes for its passage. In fact, we are HIGHLY encouraged to do so every Sunday. (See here for an alternative LDS view about the Proposition).
The girl who invited us to ice cream began talking about gay marriage and the damage she perceived it would do to our society. Perhaps because of my recent immersion into law school, I began to question her assumptions, examples and basic rationalizations. Determined to keep the conversation friendly and Coldstone appropriate I posed all inquiries from a neutral, thought-provoking angle.
However, the conversation quickly escalated and somehow touched on both abortion and the death penalty before you could say, “Jimmany Cricket.” I caught myself semi-shouting “That’s the problem with Republicans…” and the other couple actively jumped up from the table in an attempt to end what they probably perceived to be a potential fist-fight and awkwardly excused themselves and we all got up to end the ice cream social.
The night ended with me stiffly saying, “Ok, great to chat with you guys. Thanks for inviting us. I’ll see you Thursday for visiting teaching. He-heh.”
Needless to say, I don’t think we made any new friends. But, even more disturbingly, I found myself in the old trap that my friend Ash described as interpreting people in the language of my own fears and suspicions. My immediate suspicion of their motives and views kept me from getting to know them and listening to the heart behind their ideas & arguments. I combated pat lines with pat lines and poor logic with poor logic instead of trying to love and see.
Often at church, or school I feel a very “other” feeling. I am the other. “They” don’t think (act, dress, eat) like me.
Friday night, over Germancholattkake ice cream, I realized that that same mentality I have creates the suspicions and hate that I perceive.
My mind is in need of more respect. My heart is in need of softening. My eyes need to automatically look for how we are all the same. My words need to seek to understand not to tear down. My hand needs to gladly reach for the hand of a new friend not suspiciously shake that of the “other.”
What can I say more than the wedding was fabulous. Chrizelle, our new sister-in-law is from South Africa and it has been about a year since she and Peter decided to get married. What they thought would be a 6 month processes to get her finance visa turned out to take about a year. Luckily it came through and Chrizelle came over without a hitch. She has only been here for about a month and in that time Peter and Chrizelle have had to work extra hard planning, preparing, and baking for their wedding. Even with such short notice it was the loveliest of occasions.
The wedding ceremony was just beautiful and the reception, while almost immediately after the ceremony, was great as well. Everyone had a lot of fun, we were able to visit with old friends and family we hadn’t seen in years and the best part of the whole thing is that Peter and Chrizelle looked as happy as I have ever seen them. Congratulations guys!