Despite my gender and religion, I’m not really prone to cry much. At times, it’s made me question if I am normal.
I had no tears at high school graduation or as the airplane ascended at the conclusion of my mission. No tears at my wedding or the first time I held my babies. And despite loving my children very much, I have never cried at the classroom door on the first day of kindergarten. It’s not because I don’t experience appropriate emotions; they just don’t manifest themselves as tears.
Needless to say, I have not pursued a career in soap opera acting, or any theatrics for that matter.
So, because of my pitiful practice, the times I have cried in public have been a blubbering mess: sharing my testimony at the baptism of a friend in high school, a special temple day when I was proxy for someone who communicated deep gratitude and at the podium on the Sunday before I left on my mission.
On that particular day, I hadn’t felt the need to purchase waterproof mascara and so I’m sure you can imagine dark makeup streaks dripping down my face like motor oil — a scene that entirely overshadowed anything I might have said in a farewell speech to my beloved ward family. That evening, more than one generous sister brought me her favorite brand of waterproof makeup as a going-away gift.
So, maybe it’s age or life circumstance, but lately I’ve been crying regularly while sitting in front of my computer screen. I’m not exactly sure how, but the creators of uplifting videos posted on www.lds.org, YouTube and the Mormon Channel have cracked the code to my tear ducts.
When my husband catches me crying in my office, he has learned to calmly confirm, “Preparing your Sunday School lesson again?”
“Uh huh (sniff, sniff),” I blubber.
How do they do that?
It’s not like I haven’t heard the miraculous harmony of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir before. It’s not like I haven’t seen the clip of a general conference talk that is now sandwiched between sacred hymns. But somehow using wonderful videography, those masters of technology have produced vignettes that hit me right between the eyes and trigger flash floods of salty tears.
I assume the new “Come, Follow Me” curriculum is designed to make teachers cry more — not necessarily in the classroom but during preparation. The directions on the website encourage you to pray for your students and their needs, which I do. They encourage you to choose what you will teach within the category of a monthly theme, which I appreciate. They encourage you to study, plan and prepare — not just a lesson, but holistically to fulfill your calling in the way the Lord intended, which has inspired me.
So yes, the process of preparing to teach the youths on Sunday is a tender, spiritual experience that brings this grown woman to tears on a regular basis.
My students would never know, however, since I pray to maintain my “never-let-‘em-see-you-weep” mantra while directing our discussions.
So, thank you, Mormon media specialists, for using your talents to hasten the Lord’s work in this age of electronic overload. Every week, the results of your creations reset my compass, help me focus clearly on the messaging my students need most and have instituted a new maintenance system on my entire tear duct system.
I’m a new girl who is finally in touch with my teary side.
Which Mormon video has elicited deep emotions for you? Let us know in the comment section below.