This years’ Valentine celebration was unlike any other we had celebrated in previous years. There were so many smiling faces, so much love in the air, so much joy, very many hugs, exciting games and an overall presence of spiritual warmth in the chapel. Much investment of energy and time had gone into the wonderful look inside the selected rooms with all the decorations incorporated by the decoration team. They had paid the price for beauty and had done a great job indeed. This brought a sweet presence of the spirit and allowed each of us to feel peace.
In line with an African saying, “A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to redeem them from starving. They all have food in their own houses. When we gather together in the moonlight village ground, it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so”.
There was a strong feeling of unity in our midst as we each enjoyed the power of togetherness. Everyone was brimming with confidence; we smiled not because we didn't have problems but because it was a good time to forget about them. No one went home without learning something from the planned activities. The activity was planned with the help of the Elder Quorum and Relief Society president who were inspired to recall the counsel given by Pre. Gordon B. Hinckley in nourishing the relationship between the married couple. It was encouraging to see couples turnup in their numbers. Thanks to our branch WhatsApp groups, some others, who under unfavorable circumstances could not make it to the gathering later saw the pictures and video postings of the activities and rejoiced, nonetheless.
In the first game, the couples sat with their backs against one another, each having two paper cards with an image of a man on one side and a woman on the other side. The conductor would read out about 3 questions for each couple and they were to show by raising the cards which statement or question was truer about the wife or the husband. Example; “Who usually starts a fight at home”? “Who is more romantic”? “Who apologizes first after a misunderstanding”? “Who cooks better”. “Who says I love you more”. It was exciting to see a wife raise a card with the drawing of a boy to show that her husband was better at doing something and the husband in answer to the same question would answer that it’s his wife that does it better. Each complimenting one another in a spirit of perfect unity. YSA sisters or brothers who were unmarried participated with their friends.
Other games included the couples lining up in batches of 2 or 3, then standing beside each other, they would take their foot and, with a string, tie it to that of their spouse. On your marks! Get set! Go! The couple that could walk fastest to the finish line won. We cheered, took photos, chit chattered, laughed, prayed and had sumptuous dinner prepared by the Relief Society. What would we do without them? They are in every way a blessing to us.
The love shared between the couples surely must have been touched, to bring more closeness and a remembrance of when their union began. That’s how we ended the day on Valentine’s day. And each went home emotionally and spiritually satisfied.
Coimbatore 3rd Branch