IT’S GAME DAY! – Reactions to….THE HAT!

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Last night, as I lie “thinking” instead of “sleeping”  (as is often the case), I thought about my next blog post (as is also often the case!).  I layed there pondering what I’ve been contemplating for some time….that I’d like to write an article entitled “Pick a Day!”  I wanted to challenge myself, my friends and my family to look at the calendar and choose a day to do something “hard” regarding member missionary work!  I thought that if we chose a day to do something that we have been wanting to do, but haven’t had the courage to do, then we could “psyche ourselves up”, perhaps not unlike athletes preparing for a big game!

As I was thinking about this, I thought, “I know what the difficult thing is that I want to do!  I want to wear – THE HAT!” About a month ago, I designed and ordered a hat online. It came in the mail weeks ago, yet I have not had the courage to wear it yet! (Except to girls’ camp, but that hardly counts!)  On the front of the hat is embroidered a simple message: “I am a Mormon. Any Questions?”

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I knew what it was I wanted to do, so the next question was, what date was I going to pick?  I envisioned myself waking up in the morning, looking through my calendar and choosing a date, oh- maybe a few weeks away? Or a month? What I was NOT expecting was to have an immediate and clear thought in my mind…”Tomorrow morning.” Tomorrow Morning?! I thought to myself, “Wait! I’m not ready! That’s a really hard thing for me to do and I haven’t psyched myself up yet!” But at the same time, I was also getting inexplicably excited!

My fears subsided quickly and were replaced with thoughts of “IT’S GAME DAY!” I couldn’t wait to wake up!  Then, I smiled when I thought of what I had planned for the next morning…..I was going to the DMV! What a perfect place! There, I will be guaranteed to be face to face with at least one person – and “facing” many! (or my hat would be anyway!) It was perfect! I then, finally, went to sleep…ready and anxious to head into white fields – with my sickle!

Let me tell you something – this morning felt much different than most mornings! I was SO ANXIOUS to grab that hat and get over to the DMV! I felt like I should slather some black paint under my eyes as if I were preparing to play in the Superbowl! I quickly dressed, grabbed my hat (my “helmet of salvation!”) and confidently placed it on my head! I then ran down the hall, as if I were running down the tunnel to the football field, and jumped up and slapped the overhang at the end of the hallway!  IT WAS GAME DAY!

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The drive to the DMV is a long one so I took the time to listen (again) to the “Hastening the Work of Salvation” broadcast to prepare for a talk I will be giving Sunday on that same topic (my favorite, of course!) Listening to the missionary medley song was a little like listening to the energizing music a football team might listen to in the locker room before a big game.  Only I sang, “I Hope They Call Me On a Mission!” like a woman in a car with blacked out windows, and I cried like a baby (unlike most football players – I think?).  Just try listening to that song without crying! I am convinced it cannot be done.

I pulled into the DMV parking lot and what was my surprise? The line was already out the door! With my hat atop my head, I got out of the car and walked forward to take my place at the end of the line.  What was my next surprise? There was a police officer arresting someone directly behind me, so everyone’s gaze in the line was…you guessed it….directly at or past ME! I of course kept facing forward (with an unintentional, but impossible to withhold small smile on my face!)  They would all have PLENTY of opportunity to read the invitation on my hat! (I also prayed silently for help if anyone actually accepted the invitation and asked me a question!)

It was not hard to tell when they had finally read the message on my hat! I loved their reactions!  They mostly included surprise and thoughtfulness.  But my favorite reaction was a HUGE GRIN and a wave! The reactions to the hat might have looked similar to this….

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My time in the DMV did not produce answers to anyone’s questions but I could tell by their reactions that it got them thinking!

Maybe they were thinking of questions they DID have about the Mormons – but were too afraid to ask!?

Maybe they, like us, need to pick a day and JUST DO IT!

When will your “Game Day” be?

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35)

2 thoughts on “IT’S GAME DAY! – Reactions to….THE HAT!

  1. Perry L. Porter

    So here is a question for you.

    I am a decedent of James Henry Rollins, the brother of Mary Elizabeth Rolling Lightner Smith Young.

    I think at times Mary was a courageous person, and at other times a little of a religious fanatic.

    She was a plural wife of Joseph Smith and live across the street from him, all the while she was married to the non-Mormon Adam Lightner.

    If you were to meet Adam Lightner in the next life, how would you approach him as far as missionary work?

    I have know about Joseph’s polyandry marriage to Mary for decades, and named my last daughter after her.

    I leaned just this week that Joseph Married Mary Elizabeth while Adam was out of town for work.

    This is very disturbing to me.

    Should I keep this information from my daughter? I am having some very mixed feelings about naming my daughter after someone that would be so deceitful with her spouse.

    Should I just pick a day and tell my daughter and apologize to her for naming her after someone that cheated on her non-Mormon husband?

    What is your advice?

    1. April McMurtrey Post author

      Perry, I think it is wonderful that you named your daughter after Mary. I’m sure she had many wonderful qualities, which is why you chose to name your daughter after her. I wonder if there is more to the story of her marriage to Joseph than we know? Maybe it is all completely innocent and honest? What I do know is that we all have done things that would make someone hesitate before naming a child after us. In that case, I would hope and pray they (we) would look for and cling to the good – in everyone. And praise the Lord for His Holy Atonement to make the rest of it right! Blessed be His wonderful name.

What are your thoughts?

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