Sunday, December 12, 2010

I See... The Power of the Wand

For about 364½ days of the year, I am a nameless face in several different crowds; one of a million federal government functionaries during the week, one of 14 million Mormons near the end of the month making home teaching visits, and one of many millions of fathers and husbands struggling to keep kids out of jail and a wife out of debt. In a continuous quest for unique respect, I always fail.

But for one evening every year, I am blessed with unquestioned and ultimate power and respect. For one December evening every year, I drive up to the Washington DC Temple's Visitors Center to labor as a volunteer parking attendant during the Annual Christmas Lights Celebration. I don a shiny orange vinyl vest and then... I am ceremonially handed my sceptre of power- a long, plastic bright red wand that lights up when I press the right buttons. For those few hours that evening, I possess ultimate power. All those who traverse the Temple parking lot must obey every command I issue via the wand- the wand of power. They may think nothing of me, but they must respect the wand.

As I man my post in the northeast corner of the Temple parking lot, I wave my wand menacingly, but with authority, at an incoming car, and harshly direct them to park in an empty spot to the right of me. The car immediately obeys my command and drives into the assigned spot. It has no choice; it must obey me. Why? Because I possess the wand- the wand of power. Another incoming car makes a feeble attempt to drive down a forbidden path- I direct it with consummate authority to turn around and park where I command it to park- not where it wants to park. For most of my year, I fail at persuading even children half my weight to do what I ask; but on this night, with the wand of power in my hands, vehicles at least 10 times bigger and heavier than me obey me. The power of the wand in my humble hands is exhilarating and empowering.

When the Mormon Third Eye take over and encourages applying the power of the wand to the more mundane but essential elements of life, the results are at a minimum both intriguing and promising. If the power and authority of the wand is so persuasive, would it not be as effective in other contexts as well? Would children obey their parents with exactness more often if Mom or Dad had a parking wand in their hands? What about at work? Would the team be more likely to finish that critical project by Monday morning if the boss used a parking wand when directed their work? What about home teaching? Surely home teaching percentages would skyrocket if quorum leaders stood in front of the priesthood brethren with a parking wand in their hand and directed them to get off their couches and into the homes of their assigned familes?

Certainly the world would be a much more efficient place if all men and women in authority, right up to the President of the United States and the leaders of other nations, used parking wands in the course of formulating and implementing policies for the common good. It makes me wonder why they haven't thought of this earlier...

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