The following is straight out of my journal. 

September 13, 2008 Saturday

The Teenager wanted black highlights in his hair, so I did that tonight. And when we washed it out, they were blue. Blue. Darker than royal blue, but lighter than navy blue. Blue. I at first freaked out, but decided they weren’t that bad. He is trying so hard to find his place and be cool.  I should have listened to my gut.  Turns out it was the Holy Ghost trying to tell me something.

September 14, 2008 Sunday

I came very close to walking out of church today. And it scared me. Let me start at the beginning. Last night, I wanted to strip the blue out of The Teenager’s hair. But I didn’t. I didn’t listen.

Today, we got to church and The Teenager prepared the sacrament, but when he was getting ready to sit down, the Bishop told him he couldn’t pass. Not with hair like that. I got mad. And madder. And madder.

Who was he to say The Teenager couldn’t pass? The Teenager was in shock, and then embarrassed, and then mad. He came and sat down and didn’t lift his head the rest of the meeting. I was mad. I took The Princess out during one talk because she “had to go to the bathroom.” And then the Bishop stood up to give a talk. I was so close to walking out. So was The Doctor. I was furious. The Teenager is a good kid. So what if he had blue hair? Who’s it hurting?

After sacrament meeting, the Bishop called The Teenager into his office. The Doctor waited for him while I went to Primary. He came down a little while later and told me that the Bishop had said that The Teenager was still worthy, and can still prepare the sacrament, but he can’t pass. The Doctor said that if the Bishop won’t let him pass, he can’t prepare either. He won’t separate the two. I agreed.

When we got home, I was still mad. But then our home teachers came over. And I know they were inspired to say what they said. They had no knowledge of what had happened. But they taught us about the 9th Article of Faith:
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
So do we really believe this? Our prophet has said that priesthood holders should dress conservatively and modestly so as not to draw attention to themselves. They are to do their priesthood duties quietly and in the background. In other words, if The Teenager has blue hair, when he passes the sacrament, everyone will be looking at his hair, and not concentrating on the sacrament.

I felt like a bomb had hit me. What had I been doing? I had been ready to leave. Not just leave church, but leave the church. I was that mad. What if I did leave? It would affect my children, their children, and on down the line. Was I ready for that responsibility?

After the home teachers left, we gathered the kids and talked about it. We told them we needed to repent. They knew we were angry, and it scares me to think about how this could have affected their lives, let alone my own. We talked about how the Bishop speaks for God, and when we disobey him, we are disobeying God. That was scary for me to think that I was defying God today. I cried about that.

The Teenager was still angry. He kept talking about how much money he has spent on hair color, but I know he is more upset because he doesn’t know who he is, who he wants to be, or how to rebel. We talked off and on throughout the night, and he just kept saying he didn’t want brown hair. That was the recurring saying all night long. I told him it doesn’t have to be brown, it just has to be a color that hair is naturally. Finally at one point, he said, “Well, can’t I have it brown with blonde highlights?” YES, YES, YES! So I will get him an appointment to get it colored.

The Doctor called the Bishop tonight to apologize, and guess what? The Bishop didn’t even know we had been mad. I had sat there in Sacrament Meeting, my jaw clenched, my arms tightly folded, ignoring him and he didn’t even notice. So who had been affected by our being mad? Not him. Just us.

It’s not the little things that will pull us down, but the simple things like blue hair. I have heard stories about how people get offended and quit coming to church, and I always thought so little of them. I never, in a million years, thought that would ever happen to me. But it did. And I feel like I passed a huge test today.

My testimony has been strengthened.


Angie said... Reply To This Comment

Thanks for sharing this story. It's so true that the little things can seem so big to us sometimes. I'm glad Heavenly Father had his hand in this situation to a)help you learn something and b) keep you an active member of our ward. The Teenager is a good kid and everyone wants to do something different every once in awhile.

Debbie said... Reply To This Comment

What a great story and lesson. It is so hard to separate our own personal feelings from the larger issues. I struggle with this all the time.

Jessica said... Reply To This Comment

It is so easy to get offended. I'm glad you and your family survived that test. I would probably never known you otherwise.

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