I reread a book recently that I love. It is The Boxmaker's Son by Donald S. Smurthwaite. It is a fiction about a boy's feelings growing up in his hometown. I would like to quote a couple of the paragraphs in the book and then explain why this book touches me so.
"These people who called the building their home ward are as real to me as the edifice itself: family, friends, teachers, leaders. They are but closed eyes and a good memory away. They are those who took the time, those who understood the tap, tap, tapping of the Spirit and saw something remarkable in an un-remarkable brown-eyed boy, who felt most secure in the walls of that building. I remember their names and recall their kindnesses. .......They would be surprised that, beyond my family, they taught me charity. From them to me, and in my own way, from me to others who walk the hallways on Sunday, teach lessons, direct music, and place a loving arm around a shoulder.
The old stone chapel looks beautiful on this bright spring day. I notice how the stones are cut into squares, how the mortar between them holds them into place, gathered together, laid a stone at a time, with a larger plan guiding every step of the way, all joining to join a perfect symmetry to this fine old building".
This is exactly the way I feel about our grand old Downtown building. When I enter it's doors I feel the love and faith of so many who helped build this church house, who walked the halls, taught the classes, conducted the meetings, and now I get to add my tiny drop to this tradition of helping, guiding, teaching and mostly loving those who enter the doors. We have been here long enough to have known some of the 'Old Pioneers' and that means so much to me. They helped me through the years to feel a part of it all. I think about those who have already gone on and know what a privilege it has been to know them. I watch the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood conduct meetings and take care of the sacrament and I am glad I can name each one of them because most of them have been in our Primary classes over the years. I appreciate the little girls who now are young Moms who were in different classes I have taught and we now get to teach their children. I am thankful that maybe I have had a little influence on their lives. In the coming years they may not remember me but that does not matter, I remember them. They have touched my life in a special way.
My husband and I have taught Primary now for several years and I would not trade that for anything. To get a hug from one of our "kids" is the highlight of our week. We love each one of these precious children.
This windy, wonderful, friendly place is my home. Each time I go to town I see or remember someone or something that makes it even more home to me. I appreciate being accepted all those years ago into an elite group of folks and an opportunity to become part of the fabric we call Saint Johns, Arizona.