My Car’s Name is Neville Longbottom

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Many conversations with the sister missionaries took place in my car. We didn’t have a place to go, so we either parked somewhere and talked for a few hours, or drove around and did “Scripture on Wheels.” Sister R giggled one time, “I’ve never actually done a scripture study while moving.”

One night, after “The Night at the Catholic Church,” I called Natalie. My heart was on overdrive and it felt like it was going to launch right out of my chest. I wanted to talk to someone but I didn’t know about what. Did I mention I was angsty?

My roommate was home, so I went out to my car and talked to Natalie for four hours. Neville has heard my entire conversion story. He was there for all of it. Anyway, it was the middle of winter, so every few minutes I turned to car on to warm up. We spent a lot of time talking about my “super concerns,” really, the big things I kept going back to in order to defend myself against conversation about religion. She talked a lot about the difference between church culture and gospel culture. She called me out on some of my worst habits in ways that made me start thinking about how to change those things, rather than my typical move of being defensive and resistant. She helped me realize one very big truth that had been dominating my faith for so long: the only person saying that my family wasn’t worthy of Heaven was me.

When I realized that, I cried so hard. was condemning my own family in an effort to protect them from people who I thought were trying to condemn them. She helped me realize that it is not anyone else’s job to decide who does and doesn’t get to be in Heaven and that WAY includes me. She said that from what she understands, you’d have to do a lot of work to not be in God’s presence, to not be in the Celestial Kingdom. I realized that as far as my family is concerned, I’m the only one doing that kind of work.

Woah. Okay.

I found that when I took all of those thoughts and feelings about how I feel about my family and how I think the world feels about my family out of the picture, I was a wee bit more willing to consider other things. I felt so peaceful and warm and panicked and sad and sorry at the same time. I felt peace because I got an answer to a question I have been asking for so long. I felt panicked because I knew that everything I had been doing up to that point was so self-defeating and I needed to make changes that were going to bring about a lot of other changes that I wasn’t willing to start thinking about. I felt sad and sorry that I have spent so much time putting a lot of effort into trying to keep my family out of Heaven.

That night, after my conversation with Natalie, I came to a new conclusion: I already knew I wouldn’t do this for or because of MoBoy. If that’s the case, then I also can’t not do this because of my family (I’m aware that this is a grammatical nightmare, but it makes sense in my head, so let’s roll with it). I already took MoBoy out of the picture and it made some space for actual learning. I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I took my family out of the picture, too.

That Tuesday night, January 11, I read the Book of Mormon in its entirety. Cover to cover. Until 5:00 a.m. I was shaking. Every cell felt like it was turned on. Bones were shaking, I could feel every hair particle, my heart was racing for hours. By the time I read Mosiah 18:9-11, I knew I had to be baptized. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to be baptized. I just knew I had to be. I had converted and I was not one bit happy about it!

I knew the sisters woke up at 6:30 a.m. At 6:15 a.m., I send them a text message: I’m about 75% sure I need to be baptized.

Sister Robinson called me and said (well, screamed giddily), “Meet us at the church. Right now.”

So much love,

The LadyMo

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2 responses »

  1. I’m loving your words. I want to clarify that it’s not EASY to get to the celestial kingdom, you do have to put forth effort, because God wants to see your priorities and your goodness. I just feel that we still have so much of eternity to change and perfect ourselves. I do think (gospel according to Natalie) that most good people will put forth that effort here in this life or in the next life and that many many people will be with God. Surely when we die, we will not be perfect beings, after all we’re still us, just dead (hehehe), but I believe we error when we decide who gets to go where after death. Even if our intentions are good (like yours was lady mo), we have no idea under what conditions people make choices or what decisions they will make in the next life. That’s God’s job and I’m soooo thankful it’s not mine. Better to just help everyone get to the same place and not judge much. This is just what I feel. Thanks for letting me talk LadyMo.

  2. I love it: we’re still us, just dead. I laughed 🙂

    Your words were so meaningful then and they are now. I love what you say here: better to just help everyone get to the same place and not judge much. THAT is the Gospel I love.

    Thanks for talking, Natalie 🙂 I need you.

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