I felt so honored and humbled to be invited to sing with the choir at the General Relief Society Conference. We've been practicing for months and the experience has been very exciting and spiritual. Every rehearsal with the beautiful, talented and funny Emily Wadley, our conductor, was a delight.
At first, I was just excited to be one voice blended with so many others who knew how to sing! It was also fun to stretch my own voice and remember how I once sang so much and so often and so high. Now days, the lullabies I sing my babies are in a much lower register.
The week after our first rehearsal I got strep throat. Nice. Still recovering, I spent more time at the second rehearsal listening rather than singing. I was moved by the power of the message in the music and the army of believing women. I thought of the number of children we were teaching in our homes. The service and time we were sharing with our neighbors, schools and communities. I was overwhelmed by the strength of these women and then I was reminded that we were just representatives of the thousands of other strong, believing women in our wards and stakes--just in one small geographic area. And then as I listened to the words of the visiting members of the General Relief Society board and read the first chapters of the new book Daughter of My Kingdom, which shares the history of the marvelous organization of the Relief Society, I remembered that we are not alone, though sometimes I feel that way, but that we are sisters with millions of other women across the world who believe in Jesus Christ and the restoration of his gospel. How absolutely glorious. I felt like singing.
Then, last week, just days before the dress rehearsal at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, I came down with a horrible head cold. I was stuffed up and gross and completely unable to sing. Utah Dad and a neighbor gave me a beautiful Priesthood blessing. His blessing assured me that I would be able to get through the mandatory rehearsal and that I would be able to sing again by the time of the performance.
At the dress rehearsal, I was overwhelmed by a coughing attack that I could not squelch with water or cough drops. I had to leave and watch the rehearsal from the wings where I would cease to bug the choir and not spread my disgusting germs but I could still hear the conductor and the instructions.
I went to the doctor on Monday and got antibiotics for the sinus infection that had developed. As each day went by and I continued to cough excessively and I was just very sick. Even on Friday evening, I was stuffed and coughing so hard by ribs hurt. I was so nervous and worried that I wouldn't be able to participate in the choir, but the words of the Priesthood blessing comforted me and I tried to have faith.
On Saturday morning, I woke up to get ready. I could breathe through my nose but the coughing persisted. My dear sweet children each knelt and said their own sweet and innocent prayers for me. My tiny girls knelt beside me reverently as I said my own fervent prayer. I filled my purse with cough drops and went on pure faith.
It was a miracle. I was able to sing with the choir. I must admit that I didn't hit the highest notes this time. Yet, I was able to sing. I didn't cough once during the entire performance at the General Relief Society Conference. It was beautiful and exciting and a very spiritual experience. Like everyone else, I especially loved President Uchtdorf's message. Glorious.
I am so very grateful for the opportunity and for the brief reprieve from my cold. I've been coughing like crazy ever since.