Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I went Visiting Teaching today but only to one of our three sisters. I gave the lesson. I used Julie B. Beck's conference talk. “And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit” (She is the Relief Society General President for our church.)

It's a wonderful talk, full of hope and the promise of peace and joy and encouragement about how to receive revelation. After I gave my lesson the other two women immediately started to talk about the calamities in the world. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Exploding volcanoes. End of the world type stuff. My visiting teaching companion searches the Internet for information about the latest horrible thing happening in the world. The lady we were visiting had a real enthusiasm for the subject too, and they got more excited by the minute, giving details of the latest mind boggling happening in the world, and why some tragedies could have been prevented and on and on and on.

This diagram shows the potential range of the total destruction of the Yellowstone volcano. Note, Utah is gone. Totally gone. I don't think I'll bother to vacuum tomorrow.
About six years ago I got sick in the summer. After I got well I noticed I was having anxiety and panic attacks. Not major ones but enough that on a regular basis I'm pretty miserable. If I hear about a tragedy or know someone in trouble or in pain I take on their problems. I cannot watch the news without experiencing depression. I don't even want to read books with unhappy endings or even unhappy middles--and how on earth do you write books without conflict and strife--those books would be insipid but that's the kind of books I want to read--I don't--I read the ones with conflict and strife but I want to read happy ones.

So, the longer Miss Enthusiasm-for-calamities and Miss I-can-top-that-horrible-story talked, the worse I felt.

Then I remembered some words from Sister Beck's talk: "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life."

Okay, I said to myself, if I can get revelation I need some now because I'm rapidly slipping towards destruction, right along with the Yellowstone soon-to-be-volcano-which-will-surely-wipe-out-Utah-along-with-several-other-states-and-a-good-portiom-of-Canada-and-will-probably-put-the-world-into-nuclear-winter. I know these things because Thing One and Thing Two discussed it. In detail!

So, in my shaky little inner voice I sang a Primary song to myself, "Heavenly Father, are you really there? Do you hear and answer every child's prayer?" Entire song here. Almost immediately the fear left . In fact the two women started to sound like the teacher on any of the Charlie Brown movies. "Waah-waah-waah-waah-waah-waaa."

I know this might sound stupid, but to me this was another witness of God's goodness, removing the fear and panic from one woman who should know better but who just can't help herself.

Disclaimer: No disrespect toward Thing One or Thing Two (who I actually adore) was intended, and no harm came to either of them, even though someone thought they should surely be beaned over the head. Any resemblance to people living or dead may or may not be coincidental.

Note: Mrs. Bird is one of the women we visit teach but she was on the lawn swings with us the other night and so I gave her a inadequate but heartfelt lesson. She did not talk of floods, lava tubes full of magma swallowing whole towns and roads and slow moving turtles, or tornadoes, carrying cows through the sides of barns and depositing them, with a flock of chickens, in hay lofts. No, indeed. She told us jokes and funny things about raccoons in their attic and had us laughing for a good half hour and I was enriched and happy and did not have to sing a Primary song to ward off the twitches. Long live Mrs. Bird! And I'm afraid their raccoons are going to have long lives too. Not one raccoon but many. In the attic. Pooping, probably. And chewing things up. And smashing the insulation and they will probably sue Mrs. Bird and her husband because they will have asbestos problems with their lungs. And Mrs. Bird will put a funny spin on it and tell us on the lawn swings and I'll tell you and then we'll all have a good laugh and be happy. And if the Yellowstone volcano blows, I hope we go quick. But on the bright side, the raccoon problem will be solved. I must remember to tell Mrs. Bird. She'll be thrilled.


Mental P Mama said...

I love this post! And don't even get me started about the fault line that runs along the East Coast...

Michael Rawluk said...

Back in the time of Greek Gods and smart philosophers, Greek wrestler Milo of Croton came upon a tree-trunk split with wedges. Testing his strength, he tried to rend it with his bare hands by inserting his fingers in the gap. The wedges fell, trapping his hands in the tree making him unable to defend himself from attacking wolves who devoured him. Don't do that or you won't have to worry about volcanoes.
Waaah waah waah waah.

hillary said...

Know what would be awful.....


And ps, it could always be worse, there could be a dead man in the freezer.

tearese said...

I'm glad you were able to feel better! My dad has always been obsessed with stuff like that too, and we'd be forced to watch End of the World specials and hear all about Nostradamus and all that jazz. He's still that way, very negative, and very unhappy. So I just try not to think of it. Although, when we've been looking at places for Joseph to apply for teaching positions, when we're looking at the West coast I can't help but think, "but that part of the continent is going to fall into the ocean soon, maybe we shouldn't live there!"
PS Don't watch 2012.

Colette Amelia said...

Well you are not alone. All of this strife and trouble is getting to me too. And what is on TV? Well I skip the news...but then there is hockey bashing and hitting and concussions and many murder detective shows?

So lately I have been just playing scrabble, digging in the dirt and watching modern family and home decorating shows.

Now don't you worry about the volcanoes in we can see (with one eye) that worrying just causes a whole bunch of pressure in our head and not good things happen when they blow!

do take care dear friend.