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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Schilaty

The Stain and the Dance

Recently I was chatting with a dear friend and she shared a dream with me that she had had some time ago. I was struck by the beautiful message contained in her brief experience. The following day I spoke at an Ally Night at someone's home and shared this story with the 20 people present. After the meeting two people came up to me and said that my retelling of the dream was the most impactful part of the whole night ("Ben, your stories were fine and all, but your friend's story was AMAZING!"). Since those two women found her experience to be valuable I thought it would be worth it to share it here as well. So with my friend's permission, I am sharing the experience she had in her own words. 

My husband and I have four wonderful sons. Four Eagle Scouts, four returned missionaries, all smart and handsome and really great men.  One of them, while living with us, decided he wanted to leave the church. This was beyond difficult for me. I prayed, I fasted, I attended the temple and read my scriptures and then I prayed more, for inspiration and help for my son. Yet, as the days and weeks went by he was getting farther and farther away from the gospel. In a word, this was brutal. I felt despair, discouragment, and doubt. I didn’t doubt my testimony, but I doubted my abilities as a mother to save my son. One day, after a very difficult conversation with him, I went to my bedroom, closed the door and fell to my knees. I pleaded with the Lord, “I can’t do this anymore. Please help me!” I was hoping for inspiration on how to “fix” my son.

The following night, I had this dream. I was at a dance. It was very much like a gym at the church. A famous rock band was there to play for our dance. There were a lot of people there: friends, neighbors, single, married, old, young. All of us together and all happy and excited, except me. I had a weight of responsibility on my shoulders. I felt a huge burden. A young man who lives down the street from me got a stain on his white Sunday shirt. I offered to clean the shirt since I have much experience with cleaning white shirts for young men. I had the shirt soaking in the kitchen sink. In the gym, the band started to warm up and everyone started dancing and cheering with excitement. With a heavy heart, I turned and walked out of the gym and said, “I better go take care of that stain.”  

Just then, my alarm went off. I was awake and thinking about my dream. A voice said to me, “Go to the dance!”  I was also inspired to understand that Christ would take care of the stain. In fact, there was nothing I could do about it. And, that Christ had already done the hard work, it was taken care of. I felt that Heavenly Father did not want me to ruin my life over this. I was hoping for inspiration about how to “fix” my son and I didn’t even realize that it was me that needed fixing.

In 2 Nephi 31:3 it says: "For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding."

I always believed this meant Spanish or English or Chinese or whatever language a person understood.  While that is true, I think that it means more than that. I was given understanding in a language that I understood: laundry, responsibility, and dancing. My testimony is that God knows us. He understands our joys and sorrows and He will answer “unto our understanding.” 

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