Yesterday, Friday - I was still sick. Coming up two months at this point, my parents are concerned.
While talking with Mamau earlier on the phone, she asked, "Do you want a blessing?"
"Uh, no Steve can take of it." I didn't bother to correct her that he wouldn't need to read from a manual before administering the blessing or finding the anointed oil beforehand that he was forever mixing up with our cooking oil. (Even though I labeled it, "Blessing Oil.")
"Okay, well don't forget to call and add your name to the temple list then." Oh, curve ball. Forgot about that one.
"Oh, thanks for that. Forgot I could do that." I changed the topic. Inside I could hear a little voice whispering, Coward coward.
Ugh! I missed my chance! I could have told her. But wouldn't you know it, the Lord always gives us second chances.
Later that night, we went by my parents house to see Mamau's Christmas decorations - yes, I know it's only September. Mamau loves Christmas. Usually, she waits until at least after Halloween to decorate - but she started extra early this year. As we were leaving she hugs and says, "Did you submitt your name to the temple?"
Oh! Lord why did you give me second chance? I flaked - again and simply muttered that I didn't call and left.
As I prepare for talking to my parents around General Conference - before, after, or during - unclear at this point, I've tried to prepare them in my own little way. Spirit or flesh led - I'm not entirely sure, but I can only hope God uses it. Papau, who works way too much - never takes takes time for himself. I've started packing him lunches and leaving a scripture for him. Perhaps the Lord will use it, perhaps not - but the Bible is bread from heaven, so in my heart I hope.
It's funny to me - with my parents I'm such a coward and so weak. Yet, with other LDS in my life at times it takes restraint to not share what I've found with Jesus. The freedom I've found in Truth. What really confuses me at times is that none of the normal "anti-Mormon" stuff got to me while I was LDS, it didn't bother me in my time of doubt or transition, it didn't bother me until after I left. The faith I had that all those things didn't matter suddenly had lifted and I realized that my previous answers were not just empty, but not logical or sound anymore. And even if I could still defend my previous beliefs - even if I could still defend one or two beliefs, so long as even one were false or wrong, the house of cards came tumbling down. What weighs on me is that I know more than the "average" LDS, not that I know more than MOST LDS, just the average one. On MADB (formerly FAIR Discussion Boards) as Latter Day Saints we discussed how little it seemed "chapel Mormons" knew about history, deeper doctrines, past discourses, and so forth. When I want to mention these things to my few remaining LDS friends, I know I would just sound like an angry apostate with a grudge against the church - regardless that these things are all true and verified by the church itself. (Except the King Follett discourse which cannot be found in the detailed software LDS Library or on the LDS website for some strange reason.)
Yet, I don't feel this same way when it comes to my parents. And I know them well enough to know it wouldn't matter how many "facts" I know about Joseph's evolving testimonies of his "First Vision" or his secret multiple wives that he kept from Emma, or that Brigham Young encouraged members to go searching for "truth" from other untrue religions and take the truths from them (yes go diving into the occult, that sounds Biblical) - I know that they won't care and exactly what I'll sound like. I also know that my testimony won't matter to them because they have testimonies too - and theirs are thirty plus years older than mine, plus they've "been there done that" with the Protestant "Jesus".
Coward? Sure, I'd say that. Disbelief that things will be okay with my parents? Absolutely. But you know what? It makes me that much more appreciative for grace - because without it, what am I? A doubting, coward locked in my own room without Jesus. And that's no way to live.