Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ok, I'm Ready

It's been a while since I posted anything and I think it's because I've been trying to figure out so many things in my head and I wanted it organized before I did anything.

I had a great opportunity to go to Girl's Camp a few weeks ago. You see, this is a really big deal because unlike most women in their twenties and thirties I've never had a calling in Young Women's. Seriously. I've pretty much decided I'm too loud/obnoxious/opinionated/add another descriptive word here to be called so I was thrilled to be called as...

The Cook.

Yup. I guess the powers that be decided although I'm not good enough to be an example to over 100 young LDS women, I am good enough to cook for them. Cooks are normally left alone to, well, cook, but this year we were asked to help with a spiritual activity. Each girl was to be blindfolded and set on a path to follow and the only thing leading them through this path was a large rope that they were told to never let go of. Sound familiar? That would be the iron rod for all you clueless people out there. Leaders were placed along the rope to do one of two things...either encourage them or try to get them to let go of the rope. Any guesses who I was?

Yup. I was placed about five feet from the final destination...five feet from the YW presidents who were waiting to welcome their girls into eternal glory. When the girls walked by I told them I'd give them money, candy, whatever to get them off the rope and of course it didn't work so I decided to change my tactic.

Me: "Hey sweetie, what's your name?"
Girly: "Girly"
Me: "You did an awesome job, hon. Your leader is only a few feet from here. Can you hear her talking? I'm going to take you right to her just like they told me to."
Girly: "But at the beginning they told me to stay on the rope until the end."
Me: "You must not have been listening. Take my hand and let's go."

And...the girl let go. I had done it! I was the first adult to lead a girl astray. Someone came and got her and I ran back to my fellow deceptors and high fived all around. I was pretty dang proud of myself. Then came some girls who I knew very well and the whole thing started over again except this time the conversation ended with, "Sister Harper, are you being serious? You wouldn't lie to me, would you?" "Of course not sweetie, now take my hand and let's go." Off she went. One of the leaders came to me and said, "Would you stop doing that? I see my girls come so close to me and you pick them off and it's killing me!"

Between that little role play and a few other situations over the past week I've discovered something. Satan is one amazing guy. He doesn't use blatant lies to get you to do what he wants. He doesn't tell people, "I'll give you five bucks if you - add horrible sin here." He somehow manages to get you to trust the the sin. He helps you justify that's it's really not that big of a deal given the circumstances you've been in. Genius.

During this past week I've found out that more than one of my friends has decided to go on a path contrary to what they've taught and been taught. They are still amazing people but they have been led to believe that their current circumstances warrant behavior contrary to the teachings of the Gospel. It really is easy for me to see why they did, and painful to see the paths they have chosen. I can see Satan high fiving his loser buddies and I can see Heavenly Father thinking, "Would you stop that! He was so close."

I really don't know how to end this. I ache for my friends who are struggling and I'm reliving the times when life handed me blow after blow and I reached a point in my life where no matter how hard I tried to be good, life just kept dishing out crap. I chose to stick with it and I'm not patting myself on the back by any means, I'm just saying maybe I understand how easy it would've been to have chosen something else and easy it would have been to justify.

Satan, you suck.


The Atomic Mom said...

Ok, brave of you to go to girls camp, I would have said no, unless their was flush potties, electricity and a bed to sleep on...I know, how did I deal in Bulgaira? Anyway, it sounds like you did just what they wanted you to do distracted them. And I think the way you did it was very powerful, Satan does just that, little by little in ways that we think might be ok.

I've never been in YW either, but I'm sure that's because I've already done my stint in teenaged hell as a high school teacher.

Elizabeth said...

You made me pee my pants just now! That is ingenious! I never would have thought to say that. You have a real knack for writing. You should send that post to the New Era or something. You are right, Satan is very tricky, evil, cunning. I have friends who are in simillar circumstances and I feel for them too. You seem to say exactly what I feel but don't know how to say. I should take a writing class for something.

brossettelewis said...

You make a good saten MB :).

JAMIE said...

This is so true, MB. Amazingly deceitful and enticing, that's how the Adversary works, and before we know it, he has us in his grasp and we can no longer tell.

The worst part is he starts small....and gets us "numb" before moving onto the bigger stuff.

I"m so glad you have the perspective you do, you are a great example to me.

Marissa said...

I am glad you gave those girls real life perspective of Satan. You are awesome!

Sharilyn said...

I LOVE this post. You are a dang good sizzlin' Satan. Thanks for sharing this perspective, it is so true.

I will probably use this example (with your permission of course) in a lesson some day.

Higleys said...

I know how you feel. I've never been in YW (36, Ok it also took me to 30 to get out of singles wards).
I did the same thing with a Singles FHE, getting people to believe me. Lastly, my heart breaks when I see a friend make choices that hurt them.

Ninny said...

This is a brilliant post MB. Thanks for making me think about this this morning. I am going to share it with my daughter.

*~The Collins'~* said...

Ok, your whole theory about being too loud/obnoxious etc is not true... I am on my second stint as YW Prez... so it must be the opposite... some of us NEED it more than others because we didn't get it the first time.

I love that you were able to lead your girls astray. It means they love and trust you. We did a similar activity at girls camp last year, and I was the only one who got the girls to take the candy. It's all in who they trust. Muwahahahahaha. LOL.

My Name's Sarah said...

Satan is a BUTT HOLE.

Michelle said...

You make such a good point. Satan is cunning and works at you slowly until you make a choice that doesn't seem all that wrong at the time. I just taught a lesson on this today at church! I'm sure the girls who you 'led astray' at camp learned a lot from that experience. Thanks for the post.

Lucky Mama said...


Megan said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm sure that's an experience the girls will always remember!

Cindy said...

This post made me remember some "interesting" experiences at girl's camp with you and Sister Just. I'm sure she would of led you astray if she had been in your shoes. But in real life you have stayed on the right path yourself despite Satan's cunning and it has been an ispiration to me.