In the room where I sit as I write this, there are indications of my Mormon identity all around me. Without moving, I can see a triple combination, a container of consecrated oil, and a card on which the temple schedule is printed. As I think back over my life in the church, I am grateful for experiences which have helped me feel at home in Mormonism. Here are some memories and experiences that are especially meaningful:
- It is early on a Saturday morning. I’m at the stake welfare farm along with a few hundred other people and we are there for the string bean harvest. I am assigned three rows, and the three rows next to me are assigned to a woman who has brought her infant with her in a carrier covered with a blanket. For several hours we crawl down the rows on our hands and knees, picking beans. Sister X pushes her child’s carrier down the rows and cheerfully does her part. I’m grateful for her example.
- I am standing in line at the checkout counter of the grocery store with a man in my ward. The woman in front of us is juggling her groceries and three children, including an infant in her arms. She is flustered and embarrassed because she is a few dollars short and fumbles in her purse, frantically searching for coins. My friend surreptitiously draws a twenty dollar bill from his pocket, touches her shoulder, and says: “I think this fell out of your purse.” I’m grateful for a church which produces people like this.