Friday, May 2, 2008

BYU Women's Conference--Lessons from the Past

I have some things I want to say about BYU Women's Conference. But I'm too tired to really think them out yet, so first I'll just tell a little story about my very first BYU Women's Conference. I think it was 1982. I was just off my mission and going to the Y and I was really full of myself. You know the type. I had purchased my ticket and had a little nametag and was trying to attend the most spirichal sessions I could--taking notes in a little spiral-bound book. Well, one of the sessions I wanted to attend was in a building with which I wasn't familiar, and I was a little late, and I couldn't find the room. So I asked one of those volunteer ladies who were standing around if she could help me find the session. I'm afraid I wasn't all that polite. In fact, as I recall, I treated her sort of like a maid, minion or lesser being. She was there to serve the patrons, wasn't she? But she was so dang nice. She told me she would walk me to the room, and the whole way she chatted with me, asking how I was enjoying the Conference, and if I liked so-and-so's talk and was truly interested in me-me-me. So I deigned to talk to her as we progressed down the corridor. And when we reached the door, I said Thanks, and I turned to go in, and as I did out of the corner of my eye I saw her name tag.

And it said, "PATRICIA HOLLAND."

It was THE Pat Holland, wife of the then-President of BYU Jeffrey R. Holland.
An amazing woman, smart, capable, charismatic, attractive, and kind. A woman I had admired from afar (because obviously I'd never seen her close-up before!)

It's probably the first time in my life I can remember feeling truly humble.

I admit it, I'm really not a very humble person. I don't get humble when I get a new calling, because honestly, I know I can do a fairly good job at any calling I get. While I don't feel overly talented in any one area, I am blessed enough to be able to do most things without embarrassing myself. But this experience floored me. I realized that any peon I met on the street could very well be someone IMPORTANT. Someone really important. Like one of those Warriors of the Pre-existence or a Member of the Council in Heaven or Shakespeare's muse--and I wouldn't even know it.

Anyway, I don't have the notes I took at that BYU Women's Conference. I don't remember any of the speakers I heard. I'm not even sure what year it was. But I do remember what I learned from Pat Holland, who was nice and walked me down the hall to a classroom. Now, I often chat with the cashier at the checkout line in WalMart. I learn the names of the custodians at the University where I work. I'm polite to the taxi driver.

You just never know, maybe everyone is important.


Keri Brooks said...

Thanks for the reminder, BiV.

Marie said...

Wow, you floored me. And you brought it to a great point as well. Thanks

ZD Eve said...

Great story, BinV. Thanks.