Wednesday, June 1, 2011
"What is it?" a friend asked, wondering why in the world we'd create our own prom. Honestly I was wondering myself, as a 38 year old mother of a 17 year old son, heading to Mormon Prom for the first time. Living in PA meant it was quite a drive to the event this year, a couple hours away at least. (though I heard it travels around). We headed out in a rainstorm so bad we had to turn around twice to avoid roads that had flooded out. And so arriving, driving the Excursion filled with myself and 11 eager teens, I could not resist heading inside with the youngest and prettiest/handsomest of them to answer the question.
Thinking I was entering a church building I was shocked to find myself completely removed to an exotic land the moment I entered the church doors. Bamboo, bridges over water and real sand, lanterns hanging as if from air covered the low ceiling of the entryway. A rock path (some real) lead us into an open area seeming more like a beach complete with bamboo hut than the gymn floor. I followed the teens into a pillared courtyard that looked more like a romantic corner of Europe, past the most luscious gourmet spread I've seen at any church event and into a gorgeous garden (indoors still of course).
I was in awe. Who did all this? Looking around and asking around I found nonchalant answers from the adult chaperons, as if it was part of the norm "everyone just donated what they had". Huts? bridges? pillars? and fences of bamboo to name a few? Who just had these on hand? Who bent over and tacked down every single paper rock and strung every little light and hung that many lanterns from the ceiling? A couple of wards did it together. Two wards? WOW. What would ever make them spend so much time and talent on a teenage dance?
Of course, the same thing that got me to leave my nest with 7 younger daughters in it, missing another event that night, wait in a near-hurricane, and drive home in the dark until about 1 a.m.? Yes, our LOVE and BELIEF that these children, growing quickly to adulthood are worthwhile. That a clean, safe, fun environment sharing with friends of similar standards and beliefs is just the strength they need in a world ready to drag them down.
These pics display some of the reasons: clean, happy, modest youth striving to live virtuously in a world becoming vastly different from that daily. Friends having real fun, enjoying one another completely because they feel respected, valued, safe, and joyful in an atmosphere free from swearing, immodesty, and pressure to put their futures on the line.
And so here's Mormon Prom: one more reason why I LOVE this Church and ALL the ways it blesses my family!!!!
Posted by Hoffman Crew at 7:43 PM