Many may wonder what makes us tick: we are happy joyful people who love to laugh (but only at certain things). Many have mentioned a "Mormon Glow" that surrounds us, that reaches out and touches people, makes their lives brighter. Many have pondered at what in the world would make teenage boys give up two years of girls and fun and freedom, and girls give up a year and a half.
What are some other things that make us a peculiar people? Most certainly, in the world, we are the weird ones. Have you ever wondered:
What drives us to love our siblings (that's crazy, right?) ?
How we are willing to give up tea and coffee, and (gasp) all alcohol as adults (even adults?!)?
What reason does a fourteen year old boy have for stating up til midnight studying the words of dead people in books with hundreds of pages? (It's called the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in case you were wondering)
Why that girl decided to wear a modest swimsuit when it was obviously not the "cool" thing to do?
Why an eight year old all of a sudden feels the need to visit an elderly member of the community?
How we have the courage to stand in front of a history class and simply and clearly speak about our beliefs?
Why we smile so much?
Why we all love Star Wars and the Princess Bride?
How we convince our boys to give up their Saturday to do yard work for people who can't do it themselves?
How we keep our hope in any trial that besets us? And how we continue doing all these things even though we are going through something really hard?
What we bribe the high schoolers with in order to (now listen to this one) get them to wake up an HOUR AND A HALF early to attend a class at church BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS EVERY DAY?
What prompts a 12 year old girl to walk up to the pulpit once a month to share her feelings with the whole congregation?
Why we decide to fast for 24 hours (that's right, no food or water) once a month?
How our teenagers find fun in clean humor?
What is so much fun about churchy summer camps? (Wahoooo EFY!!!!!!!!!)
Why a girl keeps a journal?
What makes it enjoyable for us to do family history work and then take names to the temple?
Why we look so happy when we come out of the temple?
Why our ancestors have up everything they had to cross the plains to go to Utah? (Of all places ;) just kidding)
How our young men all decide to be ordained to the Priesthood as Deacons (age 12),Teachers (age 14), and Priests (age 16)? Yes, that is true. We do that.
What we do to get the whole family together to sit and watch general conference for ten hours in a weekend twice a year? In which we listen to the Prophet and other church leaders, men and women alike?
How our mothers are so good at making our homes a place where we can feel the Spirit every day?
Why our fathers give us blessings when we need comfort or healing?
There are many other things we do that definitely count as peculiar. My head hurts right now so I can't think of all of them.
What is the answer to all these questions? (Well, maybe not the Star Wars and Princess Bride one, but..)
We believe in Jesus Christ. We want to follow his example. We know his commandments, and we want to do his will. We know these things to be true, and we want to live them. We are not ashamed of this gospel, and we will do whatever it takes to help others feel God's love. The world may see that as weird, peculiar, and confusing, but The Lord doesn't.
I'm so grateful for this gospel.
And I'm proud to be peculiar.