by Kari Diane Pike
You'd think spending three days and nights at a campground with 70 other people with whom you are genetically connected in some way or another, I'd have a plethora of stories to share. I'm sure I do. I just can't think of them yet. The problem with camping three days and nights with 70 other family members is the mental and physical fatigue from sun, water sports, rounds of spoons until nearly midnight, and heart stopping incidents with active toddlers. (One two-year-old ran under the boat trailer and was run over. Fortunately, the trailer was empty and constructed of light-weight aluminum. His only injury was a kiss-shaped abrasion left on his cheek by the trailer tire as it passed over his head.)
I thought about Alma 43 where Moroni organizes the Nephites to fight for their families and their freedom and their God. They were gathered together, unified in body and spirit. They prepared physically and spiritually as they put on their armor and as they sought the counsel of the Lord through their prophet Alma. Then they obediently carried out all they were asked to do. (As terrifying as it was to witness our young nephew's potentially serious accident, I knew that we had the power of the priesthood there and that everything was going to turn out for the best.)
I witnessed the power of unity as we all worked together to provide meals and activities for our families. I watched as Grandma passed on stories and hugs to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I felt the baton being passed as the next generation took on the roles played by their parents twenty years ago. I felt peace and joy knowing that they are preparing their children and sharing with them their testimony of Christ.
I recognize the importance of writing down these experiences as they happen and recording my testimony while it still burns within me. Even though I may always remember the "event," details begin to blur and feelings ebb. Other memories and events begin to take their place.
I don't really have a conclusion to all this except to gather your loved ones and give them all a proper hug. Then write about it.