Monday, May 17, 2010

Seminary Graduation...

Sunday my strong silent mysterious man had to go into work to finish up a major job that had been hanging over him all weekend long. It was one of the biggest stressful weekends he has had of work worries in a long time. I was on the phone helping him on Saturday and lets just say when you are under this kind of pressure, and a man was supposed to send you parts from Tennessee and they haven't arrived at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon and you have to locate him... well you pull out all your connections and "where there is a will there is a way"... and nothing short of finding the gentleman's mother and pulling him from a family BBQ to get your parts on a hot rush truck to arrive on a Sunday! Let's just say it sucked all the energy from our family for the entire weekend. But we got er done!
So Sunday my strong silent mysterious man had to take the parts in and get a motor rebuilt to ship first thing Monday morning. It was huge, it was his job! They were counting on him.
The only little glitch I had was that it was also the teenagers seminary graduation! At first he was going to try and leave, drive back for the graduation and then drive back to work... but as he went through the plan in his head... losing 2-3 hours on this particular job could be detrimental! Would it be okay if he missed this one?

It's the only one we get... but I don't want to be without a job either.
We decided to divide and conquer!
But nobody really wins. And this kind of emotional roller coaster was not what I needed on this special occasion, but what could be done?
So I prayed and decided I would just take lots and lots of pictures!

I had to pull the "Dad" card for almost each and every one of them...

We had gotten him the series of approved books that he can take with him on his mission as a seminary graduation gift.

He laughed that it would be all he could read for two years...

then we laughed harder that it would probably take him the two years to actually read them.

I sat down with a family sharing a bench in the chapel of our church, and the the program began, as the graduating seniors walked in together and were seated all adorning flower corsages... I was still able to keep it together and not cry outloud. But I was so sad his Dad was not there to see him.
Our Stake President spoke to the youth, and had a little different twist on the regular go out in the world and conquer it speech. Most of these youth have been in his home over the past four years and has a window above his sliding glass door and in that window is an etched photo depicting Lehi's dream of the "tree of life" in the Book of Mormon and the photo etching he has is a Japanese version of it (he served his mission in Japan). So he reminded them of that glass, and the meaning of the large and spacious building in 1 Nephi 12:18, being "vain imaginations and pride" of the world. And he reminded them of what they have learned about the gospel in their seminary classes, and they as they go out into the world that there would be people who might think what you know is wrong and what they know is right. They will be convinced of it, and try to convince you. He gave examples in the scriptures, over and over and some in the world would believe that the "new" way to believe is not through God. And he explained this is not "new" at all... Satan has been using that for a very long time. And he read many more scriptures showing them examples of this.
But he went on to share that the hope is that these youth can know of the truth, and there are many ways to know what is true! And it is by the spirit of Christ, that we can all know. By reading and studying the scriptures, through the holy priesthood we can know of the truth, it has been restored on the earth for us to have the fullness of the truth. He also said we have prophets, of old in the scriptures to follow, but also a living prophet to listen and to give us guidance today. And by taking the sacrament each week and taking upon us the name of Christ, that it is only through Him that we can know of the truth. It was a wonderful message, full of hope! I could not paraphrase it well enough, he is a great speaker, but I didn't want to forget the beautiful message he gave to these graduates!
I looked down at one point and saw to my right next to the girl beside me a pair of boots and jeans at the end of the bench... I looked up and it was his Dad!
In his dirty grubby work clothes, he had left work and slipped in to be with his kid and watch him graduate from seminary... he snuck out quickly as it ended and gave up hugs and kisses to the teenager in the hallway before he left again. But he was there! Yep, I cried, I couldn't hold it back.
I can't imagine what anyone might have thought who saw him dressed the way he was, but I quickly put that out of my mind, and it was such a lesson to me, not to judge others because you don't always know what is in their hearts!
He wanted to be there for his kid so badly, that he came no matter how he was dressed... nothing else matter to him, it was the most important thing. It was the right thing. And for our little family, it was everything to have him there!
(with the stake young men president)
I am really proud of our son. He has loved seminary since his freshman year, when a couple of wonderful young women who were in our ward, older and much wiser than him. Taught him through their example and through their love of seminary that it was indeed a good place to be.
They taught him that it was worth the energy and effort to get up early every day before dawn to go, to participate and to love seminary.
He did just that, he loved seminary... it was by their example that he came to teach those younger than him coming into seminary to love it as well, he made it fun. The past two years, he made that his goal to encircle other youth and help them come to love seminary as much as he had.
(his friend Kyle, the seminary council president that he served with his senior year)
During the teenagers sophomore year, I was out mid morning visiting a lady in our ward, and while I was in her home, she got a call from her sister who worked at the school... who told her to get over there and get their daughter! There had been a student with a gun in the building and they were on lock down.
She heard that they had stopped the kid, and got the gun, but she didn't know anything more! That was a horrifying experience! Had anyone been shot? Where was my child? How do I get to him?

So I left and tried to call the school, they told me that no body was hurt and they obtained the gun, but they would keep the kids in lock down as the police were still checking the neighborhoods for a couple of suspects that were with the youth that brought the gun into the school... and that he was not a student. They said the kids were all safe in classrooms, and discouraged parents from coming to the school, but if I wanted to pick up our son, I could come to the office.

I had a sick feeling in my stomach, I thought he was okay, but I had to see him!!
I had to touch him and hug him and KNOW for myself he was okay!!
So I called my strong silent mysterious man to let him know what was going on... and he said "wait there, I will go with you"!! What a comfort! That was the biggest gift of comfort God could have given me at that time, on that day!!(we are so grateful for wonderful mentors, the teenager has had over the years...
thank you Presidente`, we "LOVE THIS KID" too!)
We drove together to the school and waited in the office as they went to get the teenager from class and walk him to us... we waited and waited. We finally got news that he was not in class, he was at the seminary building!
As we walked out to the seminary building, we couldn't figure out why he would be out there, he had early morning class and this incident had happened much later in the morning.
We walked up to the door, where the instructor had to come unlock it to let us inside. We walked inside to hear hymns playing on a cd player in the background and two youth sitting under a desk playing a game with the instructor. Jacob and his friend Trevor! What a sight for worried eyes! We gave them the biggest hugs ever, and asked them why they were there, and when they had first heard of the lock down they were in the hallway on the same side of the building, so they went out a side door and ran to the seminary building for safety! They said it was the safest place they could think to be! So there they waited, unscathed, in peace, with hymns playing to comfor them and not a trouble in their hearts!
It would be one of many signs we were given over the past four years that our teenager loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and had a testimony of his own, and that he KNEW where to turn for peace and comfort!
Congratulations Jacob on your graduation!
We love you!


HeidiT said...

Congratulations to Jacob! And I also wanted to let you know that I loved the grad announcements. The pictures turned out great, I just LOVED the way the sunflare one looks on there.

Beth said...

Oh thanks Heidi, he knew what he wanted, I just had to figure out how to pull it off. It was so fun to spend that time with him, trying to get the right shot. It was like working for Donald Trump though, I was almost fired twice :) LOL I think he was happy with the end results.

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