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7/20/08

i do not resemble pie in any way.

There may be some feelings expressed here. I may even discuss my feelings on life. But not in a hipster-cooler-than-thou way, so it's only a little bit hypocritical. Right?

I was called into the Young Women's organization today. I nearly died of relief because ever since the Bishop's secretary person called to tell us the bishop wanted to meet with us to assign callings, I have been silently chanting Please not the Primary, Please not the Primary....*

After calming down a little bit (Yes! Not the primary!) I started to feel a little intimidated by my new calling. What if the girls hate me? What if I say something stupid?

In times of stress I make mental lists, and so naturally, I started making a list of some of my best (and worst) YM experiences.

Best- One of my leader's took me out to lunch when I was 15. She came to my school, picked me up, and took me to McDonald's. She spent the whole time asking me about what I liked, what I did with my friends, and most importantly, what I wanted to be when I grew up. She didn't laugh when I told her I wanted to be a journalist and live in New York. She believed me. She believed I was much more capable than I was, and at every activity, she would tell the other leaders how I was "going to be a famous journalist for the New York Times."

Worst- This didn't actually happen in my ward, but one summer at Girls Camp we had a devotional where some dude came and gave a talk. It was the annual mandatory "chastity" talk, and at one point, he held up a perfect piece of cherry pie. He told us the pie represented us when we were pure and chaste. He then picked up some dirt, and splattered it all over the pie. That was us after we had sinned. I was probably only 14 at the time, but I was deeply disturbed in ways I didn't understand yet. Now a little older, I take special issue with the idea of a piece of pie representing a woman's virginity before it has been "consumed" by a man, but at the time, all I wanted to do was stand up and yell "But what about when Jesus comes in and wipes all the dirt off the pie!" I didn't want to know about sex. I wanted to know about forgiveness and the atonement. I wanted a miracle to happen where the dirt went away and the pie was perfect again. I also never wanted to be compared to food ever again, but minor details people.

I am still grateful for my loving YM leader who took the time to listen. I am still mad at that man, even though I don't think he meant any harm, and it was probably just a case of "really bad object lesson." But I realize now that I shouldn't worry so much about saying something "dumb." What matters is that I express to them how God loves them unconditionally. Regardless of the mistakes they make, they can always turn around and be perfect again through the atonement. Oh, and that they are not, and never will be, pieces of pie.







*Look, I totally would have served in the primary if they had called me. Primary is a great organization, my chanting did not reflect on the program, just my intense and overwhelming fear of children. It's not you, Primary, it's me.

25 comments:

Sue said...

I would be so awful in Young Womens. I just know I would turn into one of those awful leaders who wants all of the girls to like them in order to make up for high school, and it would just be desperate and sad and not about them (or the gospel for that matter) at all.

The best calling ever is primary chorister. All fun and games, all the time.

Lena said...

You will be so great int he YW!! I got to go to camp as a leader once, one of the best times I have ever had at YW. And I was already out. Don't worry about saying something dump, remember you are dealing with 15 year olds, they say dumb things 3 or 4 times an hour. Call if you need back up!

Nik "the BoyWonder" said...

I believe life is like a box of chocolates....consume them and your life is then over!

Valerie said...

Activities Committee Chair is also pretty fun. Well, the planning's fun, actually carrying out an activity is not so fun...

Have fun with the YW! I've never actually seen you but I feel safe in assuming that no, you do not resemble pie in any way.

Brammer Family said...

You will be GREAT in YW's Steph! I too have chanted no primary...but I'm in there anyway. :)

Again, you will awesome!

AzĂșcar said...

I got called to YW at about your age and although I entered with fear, I ended up loving it. I was in for seven years.

I've since had a year off and was just now called to my greatest fear: Primary. However, I think this is fair since I a.) have primary aged children and b.) am only the pianist. Holy cow! Best Calling Ever! They don't care if you mess up!

Nicole said...

I think you are taking a great approach to YW. When I was in YW, I went through a "rebellious phase" where I refused to show up for about a year. And every week, my YW president came to my house and talked to me about me and whatever play I was in at the time. It drove me nuts at the time, but ultimately, she proved that she cared about me as an individual, and THAT'S what got me coming back to activities again. Nobody needs "help" being afraid and ashamed of their mistakes -- what they (and we) all need is to know that they are loved.

P.S. I completely understand not wanting to be in Primary. I am scared of teenagers, but I just plain don't like other people's kids. That sounds so mean, but it's true. Some people LOVE kids, and some love their own kids and sort of tolerate other people's. I'm in the latter group. I don't necessarily DISLIKE other kids, but I have issues with being warm and fuzzy to most of them.

Spencer said...

I am the complete opposite. I prefer the Primary over YM. In fact, my dream calling would be Primary Pianist. That would be a rock easy calling.
The pie story kind of reminded me of the movie American Pie..gross I know, but it did.

Kimberly said...

You are also not a piece of chewed gum (another poor object lesson that glosses over that whole repentance/atonement bit).

What a great YW leader you had! I loved Gospel Dotrine, until I recently was forced to face my greatest fear, Primary. It is actually kind of fun, even though I usually don't like other people's kids. I'm still afraid of YW. Good luck!

Paige said...

The pie lesson makes me never want to look at a cherry pie again. Did he mention "popping" at all? Because that would be even grosser.

Motherboard said...

Found you on MMB-- And I was horrified when i got put into YW. I mean, I was afraid of teenagers when I was a teenager. I thought for sure they were going to burn me at the stake---they have yet to do that.

Teenagers, I have come to find out, are pretty smart, and they just want someone to listen to them and talk WITH them, not AT them.

I am sure you will be brilliant. Seeing how I don't know you and all! :>)

Sarah holman said...

Steph, I know you will love YW. I am currently in YW and find it funny because in all reality I am not much older than they are. But I think that is what makes it so good. I know the girls will love you and feel like they can relate to you about all sorts of things. So far, I have learned a ton about the Jonus Brothers, Camp Rock (Disney movie starring the Jonus brothers), and American Idol. I don't think I have ever been so up to date with Tween pop culture! Good luck I know you will love it!

KT said...

I am the primary pianist in my ward and SOME (not all) of the children there make me question my decision to have kids. Like the one girl who refuses to believe I have a baby in my belly and continues to call me "That woman with the big belly." I don't like that kid much right now.

Lisa Louise said...

you are going to make such a great YW leader! That is a very sad story that will now forever ruin cherry pie for me.

Mar said...

You will do a great job in YW. I was really intimidated by it at first but it's really cool. Don't let those other leaders think you need centerpieces either--your lessons and testimony should be able to stand without wood carvings, tole painted items, or newspaper clippings. Just be you and they will love you. BTW, Primary terrifies me.

Jillybean said...

I was YW secretary when I was 21 and not yet married. It was fun because I wasn't too much older than the girls, and they liked me because I had a cool car. I really enjoyed that calling.
I now teach the sunbeams. (YW is also nice, because they rarely kick you in the shins)

Nemesis said...

So I promise this is not about me pimping my own blog all the time, but your cherry-pie story takes a place of glory and honor among the horrible chastity object lessons we collected awhile back.

The cherry pie was a new (and horrifying) one to me. And I wish I'd been aware enough as a YW to at least have had the URGE to stand up and argue in the face of crappy Atonement-lacking instruction. So kudos to you.

Also I'm sure those girls will love you. Yay for teaching them about graduate school!

Jenny said...

So I guess what you're saying is that I shouldn't tell this at girls camp next week? Lame. The chewed gum chastity analogy will forever be my favorite. I'm so glad you're a right thinking individual.

Petra said...

I've always wanted to see a chastity lesson about hammering a nail into a board, just because the "nailed" pun would be so fun, but I think I made that up. Alas. Maybe I'll just have to get myself called into YW someday.

wonder woman said...

I don't think the cherry pie/dirt analogy works anyway 'cuz I know plenty of guys who would brush of some of the dirt and dig in.

I'd love to be in YW. I've been substituting as the primary pianist the past two months. Seems to be quite a few of those here. Weird.

Just be real with them. You've got to really love them. If you do, they'll know it. Makes all the difference.

alotalot said...

In my YW class, chastity was a cookie. And nobody wants the cookie with a bite taken out of it! Except, I would eat a cookie even if there was a bite taken out it because I LOVED/LOVE cookies. So that was a failed object lesson too. :)

Whitney and Daniel said...

I think I remember the pie talk...

Plain Jame said...

I actually LOOOOOVE that you linked your blog! It's cool if you do it, because you're you and you're cool.

I am loving these posts because I was thinking that I was the only one "victimized" by a crappy object lesson. Well meaning people sure know how to ruin ones life, dont they? kidding.... sort of...

lynette said...

oh my! your story takes the cake, or the pie, or whatever.

and, now i can't get that song by warrant out of my head. "she's my cherry pie..."

awesome.

lifeofdi said...

Dear MCB that I don't know. You are pretty fabulous. I liked this blog a lot. I want to explain my feelings on the whole pie/virginity thing and also how frustrating it is to me that so much of female value seems to ride on her virginity, where men aren't held to the same standard. But I'm sleepy. So I won't.