Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Where were you when the world stopped turning?" I remember Sept. 11, 2001

As I looked at Facebook this morning, a friend asked us to remember and comment if we remembered where we were on Sept. 11, 2001. It made me think of where I was. Every time I hear that Alan Jackson song, "Where were you when the world stopped turning, on that Sept. day?" I know just where I was and what I was doing. That day will forever be ingrained in my memory, not because I lost anyone in those tragic events that day, not because I was a rescuer or a survivor, but because it changed my life. The tragedies that transpired on that day made me feel very vulnerable, very humble and scared. I don't know how else to explain it, but watching that happen on t.v. went straight to my very inner being and made me realize that we could be gone tomorrow, without any notice. It really turned my heart towards a need for spirituality in my life that was absent before. At that time in my life I was very wild and free. I did what I wanted, when I wanted without any regard for consequences. I was rebellious against the faith in which I was raised, I felt the Mormon people to be hypocritical and "holier than thou", and I felt that I could never be perfect so why even try and wanted no part of it. I had gone to Primary as a child and been taught basic principles of the Gospel, but stopped going to church as a twelve year old in a new ward where nobody acted like they wanted me there or cared about me. I felt more accepted by people who were not of that faith. I continued my aversion to anything spiritual until that fateful September day. I remember sitting on the couch watching re-runs of the Twin Towers falling, just sobbing, feeling so sad and lost. I ended up with a feeling that I needed to turn towards my Heavenly Father for comfort and healing. This was not a comfortable thing for me and I knew I was doing many things that were contrary to the faith that I would have to change. I was not  happy with this, but I needed to know if this church, this faith was really true. After a few weeks of turmoil in my soul I happened to take care of a person at my job as a medical assistant who was in charge of the LDS Missionaries. I felt prompted to ask him about how to get those missionaries to visit with me. I think he was surprised at my request, but within a week I had some very nice young Elders and the ward missionaries who to this day I count as good friends who were so very kind, supportive and played a key role in my finding a testimony of Jesus Christ. It was an exact opposite experience than I had previously with the LDS people. But even though they were different I knew I had to change my life and that is probably what scared me the most. I would have to stop drinking, socially smoking, partying, wearing barely there clothes and those kinds of things that I had become so accustomed to.  And what would my friends think, this just wasn't "me!" And then there was my husband who was my partying companion, would he be ready to change? I had so many questions and my quest to find out if this LDS faith was really for me. Needless to say September 11th changed my life, for the good. It caused my heart to be turned toward my Father in Heaven and His church. I still feel sad for the people directly effected by those tragedies, but also feel grateful for the way I found comfort in the gospel of Jesus Christ because of what happened that day.
I wanted Heavenly Father to give me a huge sign that I could not ignore that would tell me that this is what He wants me to do with my life. (I was going to have to forsake a lot of things and probably a lot of people and I needed "proof" that it was right.) I had a fantastic Bishop who was kind, understanding and patient. He taught me that I had to first have faith in it and then God would give me the answers or signs I was in search of. To me, this seemed backwards, I thought He should first show me the signs or proof and then I would comply. But I have learned that God and His plan don't work that way. I did as the Bishop instructed, I prayed, I studied, I believed and guess what? God blessed me for my efforts, He gave me the answers and "proof" I needed to change my life. It was hard in ways and easy in others to turn away from the life I was living and try to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. I still make mistakes and have much to learn, but I have been given the "proof" and a testimony that it is what I should be doing with my life. With the LDS faith in the lime-light a lot lately, I thought I would throw in my "two cents." We are people just like any other, we make mistakes, we judge, we sin, but we know that because of Jesus Christ, we and anyone else who desires, can be forgiven and try to do better. I'm not perfect and will never be, but I can try to do the best I can and repent where I fall short. I know the Savior Jesus Christ knows my personal battles and will be my advocate with the Father. Because of His atoning sacrifice I can repent of those places I fall short of perfection. I write this blog post today to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, gave their lives freely and the heroes who worked to save lives. I also write it to answer the questions, is there more to life and why am I now an active member of the LDS church? Since I feel the tragedy of September 11th was the turning point in my life, I felt it appropriate to share this today. I also want to share the fact that even though we as Mormons try to be perfect, we are not. And so, as I learned so many years ago, try not to judge the church by those who are poor examples of the faith. Look to those who are good examples of Christ and to the doctrine which is of Christ. Don't allow some bad examples of others dampen your spirit or testimony or desire to know God and your Savior Jesus Christ.
You will not see many posts of this nature from me on this blog, as I feel this to be very personal and sacred, but I also want to bear witness of the things I know to be true.


  1. Well said Kacey. I appreciate you in telling that story.

    1. As always, thanks for tuning in. (Even to my super sappy ones!)