When I went to orientation for Baylor, I asked the Dean over Student Services about it and got a very blunt response about Baylor not recognizing other religious groups. I'm sure the Dean did not intend the effect, but I felt sad about it. I knew I was going to be lonely in law school, being so far away from my family and friends. And now, where I thought I would make friends was not going to happen... or so I thought.
Turns out, there is a Waco Chapter of JRCLS. We are small in number, but it was a wonderful friendship to have at Baylor. Although, I was (and still am) the only girl. After my first year, the National society sent an e-mail out about applying to be on committees. I thought that I could help with the Women In Law committee, being the only female Mormon law student in my school. So I applied.
A little while later, Tyson Smith (the Vice-President over the Student Chapters) called and asked if I would serve as the Texas Regional Representative instead. So this past 6 months or so I've been in that capacity.
Well, last night was the 2nd Annual Regional Meeting for Texas. It was a long road, a lot of planning, and included some disappointments. But it happened! And while we were small in numbers, we were large in friendship and Spirit.
What really made last night a good night was our speaker, a Stake President and a law firm partner from Dallas (Mr. Kimball). In Waco, we don't get that kind of attention. We were excited.
Mr. Kimball spoke to us about who J. Rueben Clark was. None of us really had any clue. Turns out, the dude was AMAZING! I had always thought that J. Rueben Clark was some small-time Utah lawyer. Actually, he practiced International Law and served as a counsel to the United States in many affairs with Latin America. When I say, "many affairs", I mean important disputes that otherwise would/could have ended in war.
It was so neat to hear about the work President Clark did in his lifetime. He was very successful. But it was also touching how he dropped it all when called to be in the First Presidency of the Church. That's another interesting point- Pres. Clark had not served as an Apostle prior to being in the First Presidency. He was called to serve while an Ambassador to Mexico.
Not only was the topic good, but afterwards the speaker stayed and answered questions. Some of the law students (all fathers, husbands, and about to graduate) stayed and asked Mr. Kimball questions. Questions like, "How do you do it? How can you be a partner and a Stake President?"
It was neat to listen to. Here are a few things that I wanted to remember that he said:
- You can't have equal time with work and your family. And little kids do not understand quality over quantity. What you can do, and must do, is have the Spirit with you so your time with your children is most effective. So you will know what you need to say or do to help them and to let them know their Dad loves them.
- Live close to where you work. Time a lawyer spends in the car is time wasted. Your time is too valuable to drive 2 hours each day. Plus, if you live close to the office, you can go to lunch with your spouse sometimes.
- The reason we have so many good things to do in the church is because we need to learn to prioritize. The church handbooks will not get smaller. It is for us to read, pray, and prioritize what is most important and to then act accordingly.
- (Along with the above). It's unfair to ask a young mother to go to the temple once a week, do family history, and to be a good mother. Maybe her family history is scrapbooking or blogging about what is happening now. That is enough. We can't expect everyone to be active on a weekly basis in every facet of the gospel.
- Work hard at your job so when the Church calls you, you have the credibility to shift your focus a little bit. I could not be partner and Stake President if I hadn't proved myself as an Associate. I did quality work, I worked hard, and put in long hours. So now that I need to spend some time away from the office, I'm too valuable for them to let me go.
It was such a good evening. I walked away from it feeling like I am in the right place right now. I am where Heavenly Father wants me to be. I am doing what He wants me to be doing. And the future can wait. I'll get there soon enough.