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Folding Chairs

October 12, 2022

I am and was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Our churches have chapels, classrooms, kitchens, and cultural halls which usually include a stage and a basketball court. Our churches also have lots and lots of folding chairs.

Usually, various men's groups are tasked with setting up the chairs for large meetings, weddings, funerals, etc. And the chairs are often loaned out for family reunions, weddings, meals, etc. Only a few might set up the chairs, but most everyone helps to fold up the chairs. After the first meeting my convert husband attended, when all were helping put away the chairs, he was struggling. "How do you fold this up?" Having been raised in the Church, folding chairs was second nature. You turn the back toward you, tip the chair up, step on the back rung, and push. It folds together. (This is the secret way we recognize converts or non-members. [Hopefully you recognize that as sarcasm or humor.]) "Do they teach you that in Primary? (Our children's classes.) "Yes they do. You have to fold and stack 12 chairs before you can move on to Young Men/Young Women." (Again, humor.) He soon got the hang of it.

Chuck was a fabulous cook. I would look in the refrigerator and find nothing to eat. He looked in the same refrigerator and prepared a delicious meal. He wanted to know if we learned to cook casseroles at Church. "No, casseroles, pot roast, and soup. Everything in one pot or pan." He wasn't impressed with my cooking skills. The last meal I cooked for him was a tater-tot casserole. (Maybe that was what pushed him over the edge.) (Chuck and I had a bit of a warped sense of humor. One time, the doctors had told him he had only three months to live. [Something we heard often in his life.] We were shopping at a big box store on the way home from the appointment. He held up a very large bottle of ketchup and said, "Look, a lifetime supply!" I told that story at his funeral complete with a large bottle of ketchup as a visual aid.)

He was impressed with the ability of Church members to speak in public. Our children generally start speaking in Primary as early at three-years old. He was terrified of speaking and was super shy. (He never spoke in Church.) Most members may get nervous, but can speak in front of hundreds. (And after the meeting, they help put up the chairs.)

I attended a wedding a few weeks ago held in the beautiful pines. Folding chairs had been borrowed. This was not a Church wedding, but everyone helped to put away the chairs, reminding me that community and chair folding is non-denominational.

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