My Time With Inmates
Utah STATE PRISON: While visiting Utah for my book tour, I postponed us getting on the road to drive home by 7 hours so I can make speaking here work! It was my SIXTH time speaking in the Utah State Prison, (not including other prisons and facilities for teens), but today I was in a new unit. The prison always has been and always will be my absolute favorite place to visit. The spirit there is literally indescribable. Actually my first chapter on my first page of my new book starts with a profound experience I had while at the prison a different time. No one will understand it unless they’ve been. No one will understand how incredible those people are until you see them and their efforts and their drive to know more and be better. No one will know how they can change our own life just by seeing their humility and passion and dedication and hearing their goals and longings they’re constantly working towards.
Today’s visit: opening hymn and prayer, and obviously no sacrament is passed but they still do a sacramental hymn that they hum while they pray. Hearing a room full of male inmates hum a deep hum a hymn about the Savior was an intense feeling. Most of the inmates were tearing up or crying during their thinking of and talking to Him. Not a sad cry- a grateful cry. I wondered how many of us do that. Are brought to tears when we talk to Him and think of His reality and what He’s done for us. Or even take advantage of our time to really ponder Him deeply. The closing prayer said by one of the inmates was hands down one of the most profound prayers I’ve heard, as they always have been when I visit here. They talk. They talk as if He’s standing right in front of them. They talk with passion and hope with a tone of great honor to be speaking to Him recognizing and never taking for granted the fact that we can talk directly to the most powering Being to ever exist. I wondered how many times we do that. Let our feelings and passion and words wonder as if He is standing right in front of us. How many times we are really taking advantage of the reality to talk directly to an actual and real God. I wondered how many times we talk and use our own words instead of recited cultured words and are so humbled to have a real relationship with Him. As always, leaving a better person because of the greatness of the inmates. As always, leaving consumed with God’s reality and love overflows our cup when we really learn of, seek after and turn to Him no matter who or where we are. xoxAL
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