[Disclaimer: I usually don’t like to get too church-ee here, but this just touched me so and I had to share it.]

We live in an amazing world of modern technologies and conveniences.

Sometimes when I look back to even the 70s when we had to get up to turn the channel on our television of 13 stations?

We’ve come along way.

So many choices.

So many possibilities.

The smart phones. The 200 television stations. The automobiles with dvd players. The internet. The convenience store with soda fountains to mix diet and regular Dr. Pepper. The mass amounts of stores. Choices everywhere.

It goes on and on.

But then you hear a story that just puts you in your place.

Last night Jordan was singing with a couple of her friends at a youth (ages 12-18) stake fireside (which they did such an amazing job). A stake=10 wards and a ward=congregation of about 100 families. A fireside is where some very inspirational people come to speak on doing what’s right and how to be a better you.

Last night’s fireside had a husband and wife speak. The husband’s job is to travel all over the world to visit seminary classes. Seminary is a place for the youth (grades 9-12) to learn more about the scriptures. Here in Utah the kids get “released time” from school to attend seminary during a period of their school day. Most other places outside of Utah will have early-morning seminary that they’ll attend at like 6 a.m. every day. I did that in Oregon. ;)

But as we found out last night, in other parts of the world, the kids will get together one or two afternoons each week or a Saturday, whatever is conducive to their lives where they live–from Russia to Bolivia to Zimbabwe. Some kids will take a 20 minute train ride or even walk an hour in the dark in Africa just to learn more about the scriptures.

What devotion from these youth.

Such a desire to want to learn and gain a testimony of the truth of the gospel.

Which I found really ironic as we were sitting in front of three teenagers who whispered and laughed and looked at pictures on their phones almost the entire time. It was very disruptive, especially when one of them started to sing along with Jordan as she was singing. I was thinking to myself, “Uhhh, we came to hearĀ her sing, not you.” Dan, Kass and I kept wondering why they were even there if they weren’t going to listen. And if they had listened, even for just a few minutes? Maybe they’d have understood just how great they have it here and how much more that they have to help them shape their lives and be better people.

I definitely don’t think they remotely understand about their lives in perspective to other youth around the world.

But the clincher to this whole evening was when he talked about this man and his family of six from Africa (I believe he was the branch president–like a bishop of a small congregation) who would walk . . . walk 18 kilometers (12-ish miles?) every Sunday to attend church.

They would get up at 4:30 a.m. just to be there in time.


Can you imagine walking to church that far every week?

We live our simple little lives having no idea of what other people have to go through for their religion or even just life in general.

I can remember complaining about having to sit on the hump in the back seat of my uncle’s Camaro for 30 minutes to drive to church from Havelock to Morehead City (in North Carolina).

And this family walked for a few hours every Sunday.

And the sweetest part of the story was they finally could afford one bike. So they would start off their journey to church and the dad would pedal one member of his family on the handle bars to the church while the rest started walking. Then he would ride back, pick up the next person, and take them. He did this until all of his family had made it to church.

They were excited that they got to sleep in an extra hour with the bike.


I am in awe.

I just get emotional thinking about the dedication of families and the youth like the people he talked about. Their zest of wanting to learn more and to do what’s right to have an eternal family.

And then compare it to what we have so conveniently here.

I think it’s often taken for granted. I know I take it for granted.

As we were walking to our car and talking about this incredible family, my husband said,
“And yeah, we can’t even walk two blocks to our house.”

It definitely put life into a new perspective.

Thanks for letting me share this with you all. I was deeply touched by it and felt it was important to share. No matter what faith you are, this message is something we can all take into our lives. I felt it was important to share the message of devotion and about putting life into perspective.