Monday, May 16, 2011


We visited Disneyland last week and noticed that there appeared to be a lot of LDS members there.

We would walk around the park and the obvious ones were the ones wearing BYU hats or shirts.  Of course there are BYU fans that aren't members, but I think they are a lot fewer.

Another thing we would notice is the way people would interact with their kids and even the people around them.  Many times there was a calmness or maybe even a reverence.  We would look more closely and generally find garment lines.

Another characteristic we could use to make our determination that they were members was the presence of long shorts and the lack of tattoos, extra piercings, profanity, and tank tops.

Often we tire of the same lessons on the same subjects at church, but I am convinced that even having the repetitive lesson weaves the fabric of our character and it is visible.  The more we surround ourselves with those lessons and media drawn from those lessons and doctrines the more complete our tapestry of character become.  We spend a lot of our times weaving the world into us through its media and such.  If we let that go on too much it can obscure the picture of who we want to be.

An illustration of spotting members happened at our motel one evening.  I took the kids swimming.  It was getting chilly, so I only wanted to soak my feet after a long day of standing in lines.  There was a family swimming there.  I watched them a bit as I watched my kids.  The mother was sitting on the side and she appeared to have long shorts on.  The father was swimming with the kids.  I keep using the word reverent, which may not exactly be the right word, but there was something like that as he interacted with his children.  perhaps a better word is selfless.

There was no profanity and the kids were polite to each other.  The father was very attentive to playing with the kids and keeping them safe.  The father had no tattoos or piercings.

As we got up to leave I asked him where they were from.  He said Provo, Utah.  We talked a little bit that night and ended up meeting up with them at other times and places.  We never asked them if they were members, but we noticed garment lines at some point and the conversation floated to temples we had visited on the way and to other church stuff.

We went to Huntington Beach one afternoon to swim in the ocean and get a break from amusement parks.  As I was swimming with a couple of my kids I noticed a couple come into the water.  The guy had a long swim suit on and had a Utah look about him, which I can't really describe.  The young woman had a bikini on, which made me doubt the assessment I was starting to make, but she had shorts over it.  Later she put a tank top over the top.  I was still doubting due to the bikini, but neither had tattoos or piercings.  There was also a little of that reverence about them.  A little while later I noticed an older couple sitting behind my wife and the husband had a BYU hat on.  Eventually the young couple I had been watching went and sat with them.  I went and asked the older guy if he was from Utah or just a Cougar fan.  He said both.  I only talked to them briefly and told them it was nice to see them.  I then took my kids back out to the water as my family looked at me strangely for talking to strangers.

It is just so nice to have members around me.  I grew up only having members around me at church.  I would go to school and work and for the most part not have the saints around me.  People obviously will say that there are good people of other faiths and whatnot, but it is different.  It is just different.

Indiana Jones was the first ride we went on when we got to Disneyland.  We went again on our last day or so.  In front of us was another young couple.  He had a bit of a Utah Mormon look to him.  He did have a t-shirt collar hanging out of his shirt, but I could not tell about her.  She looked a little worldly, but was dressed modestly.  There was more of that calmness in their interactions together.

He was noticing the teenagers making a fuss behind us.  I was getting irritated, but he took the opportunity to mess with them.  He seemed to have been on the ride before and knew the tricks in the cave entrance to the ride.  He walked by a place when you could yank on one of the fake supports and make the cave rumble like there was a cave in happening.  The teen-aged girls freaked out.

I have heard things about liberal practices creeping into Disney, so I was surprised that the Mr. Lincoln display lives on, since it speaks positively and in favor of God.

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