Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Manchester YSA Conference 2009: Sunday evening " All is calm all is Silent"

After once again making the yomp across campus to the main centre it was time for the testimony meetings. We were as usual spilt up into groups depending on the colour of our wrist bands. Being a ‘blue’ I ended up in one of the upstairs room with the rest of the ‘blues’.

Now last year I really, really enjoyed the testimony meeting but this year?..... Well not so much. Unlike previous years the testimony meeting wasn’t last meaning there was a time limit for the meeting and we were also told to keep things ‘short and basic’. Maybe after the morning and afternoon I was all ‘spirited out’ but there was just something about the restrictions that made the atmosphere seem a little ‘forced’ for want of a better term and not natural. ( if that makes any sense at all).

Despite constant reminders from the leaders leading ( leaders leading who’d have guessed?) we did end up running over so we thought we would be holding everyone up as we went back into the main hall, but we weren’t. Which surprised me at first until I saw a girl collapsed on the floor surrounded by her worried friends who were seeing to her. Guessing that she had fainted I was surprised that they were holding things up for one girl who although fainted was in ‘out of the way’ for want of a better term. But it was at this point that I saw a second girl on the floor at the far side of the hall who had also fainted, which made me wonder what had been going on the testimony meeting in the main hall and if people had been overwhelmed by the ‘spirit’ , however any amusing thoughts of picturing one of those gospel style meetings instantly vanished when I saw a paramedic enter the hall. For someone to call for paramedics something must have been seriously wrong with those girls.

As we were asked to wait by the medic as he tended to the fallen girls we couldn’t start watching the film. Keen to maintain the spirit they decided to get the whole congregation to sing songs as we waited. Which was a struggle for the poor conductor and organist as we didn’t have 900 hymn books. So they had to think of the hymns that most people were likely to know by heart. After about 15 minutes of singing and with us rapidly approaching the end of the list of the most well known songs they finally announced we could start the film.

As the film started we noticed an ambulance arrive as they had opened the massive loading doors to the hall obviously in a attempt to cool the main hall down. One of those girls ) or both of them were obviously quite ill ( and not having a good night!)

The film was about Joseph Smith ( the founder of our church for my non LDS readers) and it was awesome. Quite simply the best church film I have seen in quite a long time and extremely powerful. The film ended with the martyrdom and when the credits rolled and the film stopped there was absolute silence in the hall. There were 900 people in there and everyone was silent, there wasn’t a sound, to embrace a cliché if a pin had dropped in that hall it would have seen deafening. In four years I haven’t been in that hall and felt the spirit as powerfully as I could at that moment and it was obvious that everybody else could to.

We had finished a lot earlier then previous years meaning we had nearly two hours before midnight and ‘food time’. J Alfred and Miss Swann both decided to go to bed but I decided that I would stay up and see what went on.

However the weather decided to lend a hand at this point and started raining so this seem to dampen ( yes I know terrible pun) some peoples spirit. I hung around but was unable to locate any of the acquaintances or friends I had made over the weekend and to be honest eating at that time of night isn’t really fun if you’re by yourself.

I stuck it out for a bit longer still failing to find anyone I knew, then decided to call it quits for the night and headed back to my room, feeling a bit tired and frustrated but a renewed sense of determination to keep getting to know people outside of the stake so I don’t get stuck like that again.


Anonymous said...

and... what about the two girls who fainted at the sight of your handsome rugged body, did they recover?

Saxon said...

I know at least one of them did and I think I saw the other one the following morning.

And as much as I'd like to claim that was the cause of their fainting they had already fainted before I got into the hall.