Monday, December 15, 2008

RS Building

We were through a little early, so I called to see if we could get into the RS Building a so Jadon could practice his "Mary" song. Sis. Dalton's secretary, Amanda, said that would be fine. As we went into the building, there was such a neat spirit there. It was this beautiful building. It felt like the celestial room in our temple. One of the workers there said to me, "They don't let just anybody play this piano. You must be special." As the group started practicing, the music just permeated the walls and filled the building. It was soo pretty. The choir ran through a couple of songs, then Jadon went over to the piano to practice his song. Just as he started, Sis. Dalton came down the stairs and into the room. She gave me a big hug and had tears in her eyes. She went over to the kids and said that they could hear the music all the way upstairs and it was so beautiful. Also entering the room was some of the secretary's and workers in the building. Then came in Sis. Thompson and Sis. Allred, counselors in the RS General Presidency. While the others were entering the room, Sis. Dalton went to each of the moms and started shaking their hand and talking to them. She went to Julie Wiest first and Julie was just in tears. I'm not sure what she said, but Julie was touched.

I had Sis Dalton get all the ladies to sit in front of the choir. We parents hung to the back. Sis. Dalton introduced Sis. Allred and Thompson to the kids. Then they began to sing. I think Cierra Beers cried through the whole performance. After a couple of songs, Jadon came up to sing "Mary Did You Know." I could tell he was a little emotional and to top it off, Adam had never played the song and Jadon hadn't practiced with him. Mr. Reimer was over at the piano trying to follow the music and show Adam where to go. Jadon was singing beautifully, but I could tell he was a little emotional. He cracked a little on the really high note because of it, but it was still good. After his song, Sis. Allred said, "I just have to tell you this story. I had three grandbabies born in December. One on the 22nd. I had bought the books for my kids with that story. We read the story and were all in tears when we read the part about "kissing the face of God." I just want you to know that that song is really special to me and you sang it so beautifully. Thank you." Of course, I was crying and thought that I was glad she didn't say anything before he sang!
The kids sang a few more songs and the sisters were just loving them. When they finished Sis. Dalton stood and had the kids applaud their parents. Then she mentioned Mr. Reimer and how she noticed that he wanted the kids in the spotlight and would move to the side so they could be seen. She said that she could tell he cared more for the kids than for his own recognition. She said that Christ was that way and was grateful for his humility. She went around the room showing gratitude. Then she asked Sis Allred and Sis. Thompson to say something to the kids.

Sis. Allred bore her testimony of the Savior and how these kids had brought such a sweet spirit. She was grateful that they were sharing the message of Christ and His birth to others. She was grateful for this wonderful time of year to remember the real reason for Christmas.

Sis. Thompson was so cute! She told the kids that she didn't want to come to work that morning. She said that the work they were doing right now was a lot of writing and it just didn't sound too fun. She said that she was so glad that she came to work that day and now she knew why she came. She also told them that they had a wonderful gift that not many had. She said that singing was not one of her "gifts." That she was allowed to sing at Girls Camp and in the shower, but her family asked her to keep her "gift" to herself. She then bore her testimony of the Savior.

Then Sis. Dalton spoke to them. She told them that they were such beautiful singers. She had them turn and look at a picture behind them that had angels descending in it. She said that that picture reminded her of them because she knew that they were not singing alone. She said that the angels were singing with them and that as they sang of Christ that the angels would always attend and sing with them. She could hear their singing all the way upstairs.

She then told the kids that they were truly a Royal Generation and were saved for this time. She said that this was time for the youth of the church to Arise and Shine. She told about the celebration video that they just produced with 42,000 kids. She asked them if they had heard that there was a new value out. It was the value called "Virtue" and the color would be gold. She said, "Young men! You are not off the hook either, because YOU are the guardians of Virtue. You are to protect and guard the virtue of these young women."

She told them about the 3 things they were committing the youth to. "To arise and shine, we are asking all the youth to first, say their prayers morning and night. Will you commit to that?" She said, "I committed Sis. Webster to this last month." Then she gave me the thumbs up sign. I gave the thumbs up back. Then she took her finger and pointed to the kids and began to move around the room to see if they had their hands raised. She turned and looked at the ladies seated and watching. No one had their hands up and she looked at them and was trying to get them to raise their hands and commit. They were like, "OHHH!!" and hurried and raised their hands. She circled past all the parents to make sure we had our hands up, too. Then she said, "the 2nd thing is to read 5 minutes from the Book of Mormon every day." She went around the room again for commitment. "The 3rd thing we are asking is that you smile everyday." At this point, I was trying to delete old pictures off my camera because the card had filled and I wanted to get as many pictures of the kids and her as I could, so I wasn't paying great attention. But heard some giggling and Sis Dalton say, "Whose dad is this??!!" Mike Stanley raises his hand, bows his head and covers his eyes. Sis. Dalton said to him, "will you please watch your dad and help him with this one!" It was funny because his dad is constantly cracking jokes and is smiling ALL the time. He is a real character. So we were all laughing. Following their commitment, Sis Dalton told them that they need to be better. She said, "I can tell that you are probably all perfect, but we need you to be better-- to be the BEST and to rise above the world." She said that they had given her the sweetest Christmas gift-- One she would always remember. She quoted the poem that is something to the effect of "if I were a shepherd, I'd give him a lamb....... I'll give Him a gift. I'll give Him my heart." She said that she was giving her heart to them as a gift. She also had made book marks for them. On one side it said "100%" On the other it had a picture of someone running (think street sign figures here) and arrow facing right and then a temple. She wanted them to hurry or hasten to the temple. She then bore her testimony of the Savior.

Following her talking, all the ladies got up and Sis. Thompson and Allred shook the kids' hands. Sis Dalton went through and hugged EACH kid. She went back to the parents and visited with Mr. Reimer, too. At some point, (I think when they were singing a song she had missed), she stood by me and said that she loved Jadon's song and that you could feel the purity of him coming through. I was in tears as she spoke. I told her that if she ever needed a singer, to call us. When everyone was clearing out, she went up to Jadon and gave him a hug. She told him what she had said to me, that she could feel his purity and goodness that comes from within. He had tears in his eyes and she hugged him. She said to him, "it's time for our youth to Arise and Shine. Can't you just feel it? It's time to step up and be better and prepare for something big!" I looked at her and said, "Christ's coming." I can't remember her acknowledgment of that (meaning if she nodded or commented), just that an understanding passed between us.

We finally cleared out. The others had headed to the bus and Mr. Reimer had said before he left that the bus would be right outside the building. Jadon and I walked out and sat on the bench. I put my arm around him and commented on what she had told him. He said, "Mom. I just don't want this to end. This feels so wonderful." I told him that now he knows what it feels like, he can create more opportunities just like this.

1 Please comment here:

Alisa said...

Denise, What an awesome opportunity! Thanks for writing this up and sharing it with us! I wish I could have been there, but you did such a great job sharing the experience, I almost feel like I was there! Great job with the song, Jadon! You have such an amazing gift for singing -- I wish I could have been there to hear it!

I've been asking for more ways to be able to feel the Christmas spirit this year (in spite of all the busy-ness) and this was yet another answer to my prayers!

Thanks again for sharing, Denise!