September 11, 2008

september 11th

i remember 911. i had woken up late that morning - just like every other morning - and gotten into an argument with my dad, ending in me getting a ride to lakeridge jr high. i was in 9th grade and as i walked into the trailer used for my geography class i thought to myself how peculiar this morning seemed, but for no particular reason.

as i sat down in my seat, prepared for another "exciting" day at school, i realized that the tv was on. it was normal to have the news on during our geography class - it wasn't the most structured of environments - but what was unusual was that the class was silent. usually there were students yelling, gossiping loudly, and jumping out of seats with little work was being done, if any. then the reporter on the tv recapped the story that was unfolding on the other side of the country. tingles went up and down my spine as it hit me what was happening. i was thirteen years old and extremely scared. it didn't help that the rest of the day there were rumors and speculations that this was the beginning of "the end" - the end of the world and the beginning of world war three. watching the tv, listening to the reporter tell the same story again and again all day kept the feelings of confusion and fear close by.

it was only when i walked into brother morris's seminary classroom for 4th period that i felt peace and calm come back into my young, troubled heart. he used that class period as a processing session for all of us. we talked about our feelings, our fears, the future, the past, the world, the gospel, and how all of these topics related to one another. he patiently let us work through our confusion and had us write in our journals. brother morris taught us one thing that day: scary things will undoubtedly happen, but as long as we live the way we know we should and stay close to the Lord, we will be safe - we're never alone. ... i will always remember the way he comforted us that day when we so desperately needed it.

today is 911. as we remember what happened seven years ago, i'm sure we all remember where we were when we found out about the planes flying into the world trade towers. as a seminary, we showed a memorial video clip/slide show and talked about what happened. we connected it to the scriptures in matthew 5:43-46 on loving our enemies. i told them the story of brother morris seven years ago. i realized that i was telling my 9th graders what happened to me in 9th grade. it seemed so beautifully ironic that i could remember what it was like to be in their shoes: what i was feeling, fearing, wanting, needing.

i love those students with a love that equals only a portion of Heavenly Father's love for them. i want the very best for them. the pure joy that fills my entire body when i hear one of my sweet little students (who i've been worried about) tell me how they read their scriptures - in matthew - for an hour the night before and that they're now in mark! these beautiful people are the future and they know what to do with it. they're better than i was at their age.

i remember september 11th and the peace that the Savior can bring to our hearts if we let Him.