Leaving a friend's house yesterday we had been talking about crazy Utah Mormon culture. Yes, it is a bit backwards and weird, and if your not LDS, it can be overwhelming. As a Mormon, not from Utah, I feel I am lucky. I have been able to clearly distinguish my true, religious and spiritual beliefs from what appears to be a mainstream culture full of social expectations, here in Utah. It is nice to have that distinction, and I believe it helps me retain my individuality, and helps me grasp what is truly sacred and special to me about being LDS.
Feeling a little saddened by the conversation, I kept thinking, "Is it really all that bad here? Are people really all that crazy? Are Utah Mormons really a threat to society and individuality?"
I stopped at the local grocery market to buy our Christmas dinner. It was packed. Hordes of people doing their holiday food shopping, and last minute details. As I was rounding the corner by the produce I noticed a large group of people running around the store. There was a lot of commotion and I saw men and women with long lists, arms filled with cool whip, applesauce, and green beans! They were yelling at each other to grab "5 more boxes of oranges! Six more bags of potatoes! We need another ham!"
At first I was annoyed at their loudness, then I heard someone ask, "What's all this for?" And one of the men with the lists answered back, "We're feeding 20 needy families tonight. We're dropping boxes full of food at houses and at the shelter." And last he added, "It's a Ward effort."
Almost instantly my eyes filled with tears. I quickly turned a corner so no one could see. I cried my little heart out. I felt the Spirit of Christ so powerfully, and all I could do was stand there and think that living in a town full of Christians isn't such a bad thing. I was grateful for this experience. It touched me deeply and made me want to be a little less judgmental, a little less confused, a little more like Christ.
I Just wanted to wish a Merry Christmas to all my wonderful friends and family. I hope each person gets to experience the Spirit of Christmas and what it means to them.