Why Hurry?

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“Why Hurry?” New Era, Sept. 2003, 37

Why Hurry?

It was silly of me to feel anxious. After all, what was more important—the service we were doing or a football game?

As part of a special activity, the youth in my ward planned to do baptisms for the dead. As the day approached, we discovered that our planned time at the temple fell on the day of our high school homecoming football game. A group of us wanted to attend both, and we figured we could hurry through the baptisms and then go straight to the game.

But after arriving at the temple, we found there was a delay. Those of us who were planning to go to the game began to feel anxious and just wanted to do the baptisms so we could leave.

As I sat there thinking how I wished things would go a little faster, I suddenly became very aware of my surroundings. I began listening to the soft hymns being played and noticed how peaceful everything around me seemed. As I watched the girl ahead of me enter the font, I suddenly thought of those people for whom she was being baptized. They had waited perhaps hundreds of years to receive this blessing. What an amazing, profound, and important thing for them! How fortunate I was to be able to offer them this great gift. How could I want to rush through this for a mere football game?

I began to see how foolish and silly I was to want to hurry. I felt ashamed that I had ever felt that way. I wasn’t in a hurry any longer. In fact, I didn’t care anymore if I even made it to the game. After all, what really matters in the eternal perspective anyway—a person’s salvation or a football game? I knew I would never take this kind of opportunity for granted again.

As it turned out, we made it back for the last half of the game. I think our team lost. I can’t really remember. But what I do remember is the happiness and gratitude I felt for the opportunity to be in the Lord’s house, doing that great service.

Photography by Jed Clark, posed by model; background inset by Tamra Hamblin