Monday, September 8, 2008

Just pick another date

I don't live in Zion. Now, don't go assuming that I'm trying to make some kind of judgement about Deseret and the wisdom of living there. My parents grew up in Salt Lake and I have many relatives who live there now. I'm just trying the state a fact. I don't live there. Outside of my stint at BYU and the MTC, I have never lived there. I live just outside Nashville, and sometimes it is obvious how far away I am. Pioneer day was a blip on the radar screen. I actually got complements after speaking on Pioneer Day Sunday because I spoke about, wait for it, the Pioneers! And our ward did have a pioneer day celebration...on Labor day. And while I'm at it, the Aaronic Priesthood commemorative father & son camp out is being held in two weeks, (September 19-20). The date was picked because it always rains in May in Nashville. I'm sure the pioneer picnic celebration was moved for a comparable reason.

I can't help but think of a little skit we would do at boy scout camp. A man walks on to stage looking very carefully on the ground for something. Another man walks on from the other direction and asks the first what he is doing. The first replies that he is looking for his wallet. The second man agrees to help him look. They are soon joined by another person who also agrees to assist. Others join and the first man is called upon to describe the wallet, its contents, and how long it has been missing. Finally another joins the search and asks, "Where did you lose it?" to which he says, "in the woods down by the lake." Everyone stops looking as the newcomer asks the next logical question "Then why are we looking here?" "well," explains the first man "the light is much better over here."

Is it odd to commemorate something with no particular attempt to do so on the day in question? I can see moving a celebration to a Saturday when the actual day falls during the week or on a Sunday. Does the celebration lose its significance when we just pick another date? Or is the date unimportant when compared to the event itself. Jesus was not born on Christmas.


Kristine said...

Hi Bruce,

Just wandered over from BCC because you mentioned Nashville. I grew up there--my dad's a prof. at Vandy, and my little brother is there now too (he's the bishop of one of the Nashville wards--I can't remember which stake White House is in, but you might run into them sometime. They're both named Richard Haglund) Anyway, yeah, sometimes Mormon culture just isn't quite strong enough to overcome the Southern--sometimes it's really great, though, like the time I heard an entire sermon on how Jesus wants us to be polite and always say "Ma'am?" or "Excuse me?" instead of "What?" if we can't hear someone. It grows on you :)

BruceC said...

White House is brand new ward created three weeks after I moved here. In is north of town in the Madison Stake. I've been moving in the opposite direction from you. I went to elementary school south of Boston in a little town called Norwell. I hope you love the northeast as much as you loved the south.

Wow, I wish I could have been there for that talk.