Sunday, August 07, 2011

My Patronus

You know, sometimes I think I know everything about Harry Potter, and then other times life sets me straight and I realize I have only scratched the surface.

Take the Patronus, for instance. Everyone knows that a Patronus is a being of light, created by a spell (Expecto Patronum!) and fuel by holding onto a happy thought.

Many people, fans like me, also know that this spell is close to Rowling's heart, as she herself has death with depression in the past.

Earlier today it kind of just popped into my head. Still only half thinking about it I thought, "Hmm so a Patronus for Harry is like Jesus is for me."

Only then did the layers of the Patronus become apparent to me, and I've been walking around thinking, "Duh, Thora," ever since.

The root of Patronus is PATRON as in Patron Saint, as in something we believe in and would EXPECT (expecto) to come to our aid when we are faced with our greatest fears, with depression, with darkness over which we have no control.

Then I realized that Harry's Patronus is his father.

Wow. The parallels, the subtle references to Christ, just wow!

Once again, I tip my hat to J. K. Rowling, the master plot weaver.

So, author worship aside, from now on, if someone asks me what my Patronus would be, I'll have to answer, Jesus Christ.

When darkness and depression was overpowering me, sucking the soul out of me, I reached for my Savior, and he saved me.

He is my light.
He is my happy thought.
He is the one that I trust to be there for me in my toughest moments, because he always has been.

Expecto Patronum

Dear Mr. President

A few months ago I clicked on a link that took me to this article. I'm not very politically inclined, but I read it anyway, out of curiosity. As an LDS I like to know what people are thinking and saying about us... to an extent.

To sum it up, the author is LDS and was invited to The White House along with a bunch of other LDS people for a round table discussion. The White House wanted to know "in what ways do Mormonism and this administration share the same goals and how can The White House better communicate these overlaps with the Mormon demographic?"

The article ended up concluding that the President should recognize the positive contributions that LDS people make, and if we know about any, we should pass the word along.

Since reading this article I have thought about it on occasion, and this morning, while putting on my mascara before church, I finally decided what it was that bothered me about the whole thing.

LDS people believe in doing good. We more than believe, we do it, we live our lives trying to make a positive impact. We love this about ourselves.

Here's the glitch though. We believe that good works should be done in secret (see Matthew 6:3-4) (and yes the Matthew in the bible, there is no Matthew in the Book of Mormon.)

This belief doesn't just cover charitable contributions. It's about making sure that we are doing good for the sake of good and not to be seen doing good.

When I think of something nice to do for someone, I do it. I don't want to be thanked, most of the time I go to a lot of effort to not be seen. I want the glory to go to God for the good I do because, let's face it, if I'm a good person it is all God's fault.

Just having the opportunity to give is reward enough. Knowing I helped someone is enough. I know people want to return thanks, and that's a good thing, but I would really rather not be thanked, it's embarrassing.

So... well meaning as the conclusion of your round table discussion was, it kind of missed the point. LDS people don't want recognition for doing good, we just want it to be generally recognized that we are good.

We don't want to be pointed out in speeches, we don't want awards or certificates.

What we do want is very simple, to not be mocked or vilified.

To tell you the truth, I don't think there's much you can do about that, not even you President Obama.

Thanks for trying to understand though, I appreciate the gesture.