Sunday, February 15, 2009

Night With Emma...

A couple of weeks ago, the neighboring town (Glendale) asked me to help them with their Relief Society night. They planned "A Night with Emma Smith" and asked me to be Emma. I was a little intimidated to say the least! :) They asked me to dress up like her, act like her throughout the night during dinner, and then give a little presentation as her. I was so nervous. It's one thing to be on stage as a character and have your lines written out for you, and somebody else to act off of... But it's another when you have to write them out yourself on such an amazing woman, and then be by yourself up on "stage" for over a half an hour, pouring your soul out to other women. I planned for weeks in advance, and still- a few hours before was making changes to the things I wanted to say.
Jeff got home from school that day and I was so nervous (I was sick to top it off and woke up that morning with no voice)... When I saw him walk in I sort of just started crying. At that point, I had no confidence that I was going to be able to pull this off like I wanted to.
Then, Dallin noticed that I was sad, and came up to where I was sitting and asked if I wanted a blessing... :) He got the oil and wanted to put his hands on my head. It was so touching to see this little boy... only two... know what to do. He was so sweet. Jeff and I didn't know what to do... We didn't want to discourage him, and we wanted to let him know that he WAS doing the right thing... but we just didn't know what was ok. Jeff told Dallin that he was going to give me a priesthood blessing and Dallin sat so still the entire time. Afterward, he also asked Jeff if he could get a blessing too. I was so amazed and proud at the faith of my son. :) My little two year old was teaching his mommy how to trust the Lord. :) His little heart helped me set the tone for the rest of the evening...

The night ended up going so well. There were times while I was talking that I sort of felt like Emma was there... showing me what to say. I felt the spirit so much, and hope that the other women did as well. There was one thing that I had wanted to point out though, and didn't ever say... So I wanted to say it on here:
There are so many things said about Emma sometimes- like the fact that she didn't come with the saints to Utah. I didn't really want to go much into these issues, so I took on my character as her a few months after Joseph had been martyred (She was pregnant with their last child together at the time he was killed). But there was one thing that really struck me that I don't think people realize when they say things about her and judge her... Since Emma stayed, her family did as well. They worked the land there, and kept up with many of the buildings that her husband and the church held sacred. If she wouldn't have stayed, those buildings that we now visit on "church tours" wouldn't have most likey been destroyed. By staying, she and her family held on to and preserved a lot of church history for us to now see. I thought that was really interesting to think about...
I learned so much about Emma Smith by doing this and I was so glad the other ward asked me to do it. I have such a stronger testimony of her, her husband- the Prophet- Joseph Smith, and the early saints of the church.
(Some pictures of me during the night)



2 comments:

Fashionably Kate said...

WHat a great experience. I'm sure that everyone was touched by this. I would have NO idea where to start on the lines or how to play her though.. Wow. What a tough assignment! :)

kathyleen said...

Jenna Marie, I am the "counselor over enrichment" in my ward in Havre, Montana. My enrichment leader happened across your blog while doing some research for an upcoming. R.S. birthday dinner. The stake has specifically asked us to make it more of a commemoration than just a party. We have been thinking of doing something along the lines of what your blog says. Anyway, I'm wondering if you would be willing to share your script with us. If it's too personal that's fine too. It sounds like you had an amazing experience. If you wouldn't mind just comment on your blog, and we'll figure a way to get in touch. Thank you.