Friday, 19 December 2014

Future Elder Smith

I'd just like to emphasize the Future part of the title. Yes, Future Elder Smith. As in, not quite yet Elder Smith.

It's interesting to see that my surname has been the topic of many a conversation since my joining of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not only among members, but also among my non-LDS friends.

"Face it, the only reason you joined the Church is because of Joseph Smith. Such vanity."
Yes, definitely. My entire testimony is dependent on a man I didn't even like while investigating the Church. I only developed a testimony of Joseph Smith long after accepting the Book of Mormon and the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ. Granted, I do admire him now, but it actually has very little to do with my decision to be baptized and confirmed as a member of the Church.
"Smith is a common surname in America."
Yes, and it is a common name everywhere else in the westernized world. It doesn't change my repellent stance on the promised land. Yea, that's another thing I'm going to have to work on before Zion comes.
"Maybe you're related to Joseph Smith."
Yes, because all Smiths are related. I mean, Will Smith is my uncle. Besides, the entire thought is a moot point, especially considering the great difficulty involved in finding any relative before my great grandparents. My immediate family tree is complicated enough. I don't even want to think about the chaos that'd unfold in tracing back to 1830. I'll take the 1900s and leave the rest to my kids.

Interesting tidbit. My sister and I are the only remaining Smiths in our entire family (the ones that we know of, that is).

I digress. My biggest pet-peeve regarding my surname is Elder Smith. I am still Jonothan. I wasn't an Elder when I was first called Elder Smith and, even though I'm Elder now, the title itself is reserved for Apostles and those they (or the First Presidency) have called and set apart as such (directly or indirectly).

That being said, I am a Future Elder Smith - considering that my mission papers are currently being processed. And I do understand the attempted humor and affection involved in calling me Elder Smith. But this is me - blunt, technical, and attemptively accurate to a perfectionistic degree.

That, and I don't like being put on a pedestal. You see, the reasoning behind the affectionate humor is that I am quite zealous with regards to the Gospel. I take my calling as a Ward Missionary seriously, but more seriously is my obligation as a Member Missionary, yea, even a disciple of Jesus Christ.

But I don't like being reminded, or having it pointed out. Because there is something about the way people say it that makes it seem like I'm doing more than I actually am.

Brother Farquharson once pointed out that I shouldn't see it as flattery. Rather, I should list them as facts and remove all nuances and exaggerations. And I suppose the derivatives thereof support others' views of me.

But it doesn't make me comfortable. Perhaps that's the blue in me (see color code here), I don't know.

Regardless of my ranting, however, I am grateful for the friends I do have. They are supportive, encouraging and uplifting. Even though I often cringe at the things they say, and outright tell them they're wrong, they do teach me a lot. And it's that spirit I'd like to bring with me when I do, finally, go on mission.

So here's to serving the Lord the best I can. Here's to friends, whom I cherish. And here's to being a Future Elder Smith. Perhaps there'll be more when I'm a father, one day.

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