The Great and Spacious Building

One Sunday after three uplifting, fulfilling meetings, I left the chapel by a side door to walk to the rear parking lot. It was the first “hint of spring” day after a long, dreary winter, and I was enjoying the blue sky and the fresh air.

As I walked, I heard some harsh, loud voices. Looking around, I saw that I was alone on that side of the building, so the voices must have been directed at me. I looked in the direction of the voices and saw three men standing on the balcony of a large home overlooking the church parking lot. I kept walking toward the car, pretending not to hear them. Yet they kept laughing loudly and repeating their harsh-sounding words and crude gestures.

As they raised their voices, I could tell they were making fun of Latter-day Saints. At first I felt uncomfortable. They were making fun of me! Then I thought of Lehi’s vision. Indeed, that house overlooking the church parking lot was a great building with people laughing and scoffing at me for my desire to stay on the gospel path. I felt the security of the iron rod, and my heart filled with peace.

Almost immediately, the voices stopped. Once the men could see that I was no longer concerned, they were silent. The entire event probably lasted no more than two or three minutes, but I was thankful to Lehi for the lessons his vision of the tree of life teaches us.

There will always be scoffers who make light of the things of God. Yet we can have strength if we hold to the iron rod and are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.

I pray that those scoffing men will someday know the peace and happiness the gospel brings, and that they will listen when they hear the Savior’s message. Karen H. Seely, Salt Lake City, Utah

My Daughter, My Mirror

Her hair is natural honey; she loves winter, loud music, fast food, and high school dances.

“Don’t you think Mancini would be a soothing change?” I ask her.

“Who?” she responds.

I try again with “How’s your English class? I loved English.”

“Terrible!” she blurts. “I only take English because I have to.”

We seem so different, my daughter and I. Then I recall her four-year-old frame draped in my favorite pink dress, wearing two rather large mismatched shoes and carrying a black leather purse flung awkwardly over her shoulder. “I need coupons, Mom,” she had said. “I’m going shopping.” I remember giggling at my miniature impersonator.

From rag dolls and tricycles to formals and the family car, I’ve watched her. She is like a mirror, reflecting my attitudes, repeating my judgments, forcing me to examine my motives. Sometimes she shows me a profile of myself I’d rather not see. Often I feel a desire to live worthier for myself because of her. And when I’ve wished I could take all I have learned and go back ten years to be a better mother, she says, “I hope my daughter has as neat a mom as I’ve had.” Maybe she hasn’t noticed all my mistakes. Or maybe she, too, has learned from them.

The two of us stand linking our generations in an eternal reflection of teaching, learning, and growing. We travel together toward him in whose likeness we were all made, our Heavenly Father. Vicki Cottrell, West Valley City, Utah

[photo] Photography by Eldon Linschoten