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Long ago I wrote an article for Meridian Magazine about how filled with mishaps weddings are. It seems everyone I know-literally-has a disaster story associated with their reception or honeymoon. And, of course, these are the least important aspects of a marriage, so we can laugh about them later.
But weddings aren’t alone when it comes to calamities. It sometimes seems that every YW Recognition Night, every ward dinner, every Eagle Scout Court of Honor, every Primary Egg Hunt-they all have their share of Things That Go Wrong. Despite planning and organizing, things get forgotten, thermostats stop working, ice storms occur, cars break down. Add to this list the fact that we are all imperfect and make mistakes, and you could almost say we have guaranteed failure.
Or do we? Despite the many slip-ups inherent in our best-laid plans, hundreds of these ward events unfold every day, and it all magically works out. No one has any idea that you wanted to drape fabric a certain way or display a particular poster that never materialized-all they see is the final result and a group of happy, appreciative attendees. That extra musical number that canceled due to the flu? Folks never even knew it was planned. The seasonal serving plates your cousin never brought over? Nobody missed them. It all worked out. And I’ll tell you why.
So many of us are involved in similar activities with schools, charities and our work, that we sometimes think our church activities are on an equal par with those. We forget this is the Lord’s church and these are his programs. He wants them to succeed. He actually cares that we’re volunteering in our local wards to build testimonies, foster friendships, and fellowship nonmembers. This isn’t just some community gathering or social club that some mortal thought up-these are activities under His direction, activities outlined in the Handbook. If we do our part, they’re going to come together in ways that surprise us time and again.
Another reason they succeed is because we aren’t just entertaining the public or throwing a party-we’re trying to bring the Spirit to every event. This is why the best lessons aren’t the ones with lavish decorations and handouts-though these extras are nice. They’re the ones when you felt the Holy Ghost witness to you of the truths you were hearing. And the best events aren’t the ones with flawless details and picture-perfect decorations-they’re the ones where friendships formed, help was given, and hearts were touched.
The Spirit is there because of the dedication in the hearts of the participants. The recent Gilbert, Arizona Temple Cultural Celebration was held in pouring rain-and the glowing faces of the youth involved were joyful and ecstatic, undampened by the weather.
From time to time I chat with a sister who’s working on an upcoming event for her auxiliary, and sometimes she’s frazzled with worry over the outcome. When I say, “It’s the Lord’s church and it’s his program-he’ll help it all work out” she invariably smiles. She realizes this is absolutely true, and that she needs to have faith, not fear. It shrinks the knots in our shoulders and sends our stress packing when we can remember who’s really at the helm. And then, as long as our priorities are to build testimonies and point members toward the temple, the Lord will help us achieve our goals. When he’s on our committee, we really can’t fail.
You can find Hilton’s books at http://jonihilton.com.
She is also “Your YouTube Mom” and shares short videos that teach easy household tips and life skills
Be sure to read her blog at http://jonihilton.blogspot.com.