Rebecca is out of town and I am posting in her absence. I am Rebecca's husband, even Steve Irvine.
So why the strange way of identifying myself?????
My point exactly.
I have a potpourri of thoughts today as my first whack at substitute blogging. There are three topics in total and the first of the three is my thoughts about a strange habit we have as Mormon people of making reference to a person by first describing their office/role/title followed by the word even and then their actual name.
Topic 2 is a report on a great High Council speaker we had last month. Topic three is a story of a bad day I had as a missionary.
Referring to a person by office/role/title followed by the word even and then their actual name. If you've ever heard General Conference you already know what I'm talking about. If not, pay attention at the next Conference and you'll observe that. I have only heard that practice at Conference and never in any other setting in my life. Mostly it's done in testimony or prayers. I'm not sure why it happens. I expect that because speakers are addressing millions worldwide in a pinnacle religous event they feel a desire to use the most solemn language possible. For our people, apparantlly that takes the form of referring to people in this unusual way. If this post were a Seinfeld episode at this point Jerry or George would coin phrase/name this phenomenon. Since I've never heard it named in the past I propose we call it the "Title-even-name reference".
I think Title-even-name reference would sound a little less funny if we could remove the word even.
We had a great High Council speaker last month. I can't remember everything he said, but I do remember some highlights.
He started by saying that he brings us the love and greetings of our stake presidency. He said they love us and have a concern for every one of us individually. He said they pray for us regularly. Then he mentioned/recognised the presence of two different members of our ward and explained that they had worked with him closely in a church calling many years ago. He explained that they've been great friends ever since. He explained that we had a great ward made up of fine people like the two he discussed specifically. He complimented us and spoke about what a fine ward we had. He made us feel like we were above-average in some way and that we were also particularly blessed.
Then he got into the core if the talk. He read some scriptures and reminded us of the importance of preperation for the eternities. Near the end he read some lines out of a song in the hymn book.
Topic three - account of a bad day on my mission:
I served in a third world country. The average formal education was about 5th grade. If you've lived in such place you know that in the absence of formal education, some people fill in the void by formulating their own theories about how the world operates. Often these theories and ways of thinking are very foriegn to us.
We baptized a guy who had some ways of thinking that were a little more unusual than normal. Otherwise he was great. He threw himself into repentance and reform more than anyone I had ever observed. He even wrote a song about his reformation. He was taking on new membership with a fury. A few days after being baptized we had a meeting at the church with the ward mission leader and the ward missionaries. New member guy showed up because he wanted to attend every meeting possible, even if it was a meeting that the general membership wouldn't ordinarily attend.
So there we were -at the chruch, ward mission leader, two ward missionaries, four missionaries and new member. At this point, let me say that I can only talk about this now since 20 years have past and the anguish has passed. The meeting started. One missionary mentioned having a severe headache, the kind that makes even thinking difficult. He said he was in agony. The meeting went on. New member got up and stood behind the missionary. He put his hands on the missionary's head and started rubbing. After a while he started chanting indiscernible words in a quite voice. The meeting went on. Headache missionary didn't say or do anything. The meeting went on. No one did or said anything. The meeting went on. What was going on??? Didn't anyone notice???? They had to have noticed!!!! The meeting went on and the chanting went on. I sat in horror. What should I do????? No one is doing anything. No one even seems to notice. Do I put a stop to the chanting???? When is the shoe going to fall?????? When is the ward mission leader going to explode?????? Will he explode during the meeting or take me out to the woodshead after?????? The meeting went on. When will the shoe fall???????
There were only a few explanations that I can think of:
Maybe the event is so strange that eveyone is repressing the actual reality?
Maybe they just don't see what's happening? Some ways that seems plausible and some ways it doesn't.
Do they think he's try some kind of massage therapy and don't notice the chanting?
Maybe they just don't want to offend new member??? Doubt it.
My guess is that it's either the first or second option. First ooption is plausible. Second option seems more unlikely, but still plausible.
The shoe never fell.
On the way home I asked my companion if he had noticed that new member had done something strange. He said he didn't even notice.