Saturday, February 13, 2016

A burning in your bottom

There is a scripture in D&C 9:8 that reads, "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right."

This scripture has popularized the phrase "a burning in [one's] bosom" in church parlance, as being a mode of receiving inspiration from the spirit. I believe I have felt many such promptings in my life—akin to knowing "in your heart of hearts" that something is correct, but more like knowing that your very spirit is receiving affirmation that something is right—but several years ago I attended a youth conference where a friend confided in me that she'd never felt a burning in her bosom—not once!—and she was worried that, perhaps, something was wrong with her.

"You're sure you've never felt the spirit?" I asked her.

"Never!" she said. "Well, maybe. Truthfully, I don't really know what a bosom is!"

We were both sixteen at the time, so I was a little shocked that she didn't realize yet what a bosom was but I figured now was as good a time as any. I put my hand over my heart (and, by extension, my bosom). "Right here, Kristin,"* I said with utmost reverence.

Once again to my shock, Kristin burst out laughing.

"What?" I asked.

"I thought!" she gasped for air between fits of laughter. "I thought...! I thought...! I thought that maybe bosom was...was... was your..."

"What?" I asked, giving into laughter myself.

"Bottom!" she managed to wheeze out.

Fast-forward a decade-and-a-half and I was called into Rachel's room where she pointed to a word in a book.

"What's that word?" she asked.

"Bosom," I said, quickly scanning the page to make sure it was in an innocent context (because, no, I don't have time to pre-read every book my children read (have you seen how much they read?) so I rely on teaching correct principles and letting them govern themselves).**

"But what is a bosom?" Rachel asked.

"It's right here," I said, laying my hand over my bosom and thinking of my friend Kristin. "Where your chest is if you're a man and where your breasts are if you're a woman."

"Oh!" Rachel giggled. "That makes sense. I thought bosom meant bottom!"

The passage? Page 191 of May Bird: The Ever After:
As she said these words, the woman with the rope burn from earlier pulled a water gun out from between her ample bosom and fired at the man who'd just spoken.
With that, the hall erupted. Big balloons filled with seawater went flying all directions, water guns came out from pockets and bosoms. It was a Dead Sea free-for-all. 
 "I thought..." Rachel snorted, and with tears of mirth rolling down her cheeks she pantomimed pulling a water gun from her rear end because she was laughing far too hard to finish her thoughts.

Don't worry, dear girl, you're not the first.

And, by golly, if you didn't figure it out in half the time it took Kristin!

*Name has been slightly altered to protect the innocent (and to aid in proper pronunciation). 

**Side note: I thought I'd written about this but apparently I never did! Once Rachel came across Sonnet 130 by Shakespeare, which was quoted in some book she was reading. She asked me what "dun" meant and I said, "Finished" and she said, "Not D-O-N-E, Mom. D-U-N," and I said, "What's the sentence?" and she said, "If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun," and I coughed and said, "What's that you're reading?" It was innocent enough, but I was more than a little surprised to hear those words come out of my little girl's mouth. It's just not what you expect from a six-or-seven-year-old. 

Maybe you'd consider having your child read the word bosom or breast risqué, but I don't. I have a handful of books sitting in plain sight on my bookshelf dedicated to the art of breastfeeding. My kids have been exposed to that words a lot. Bosom...a little less often, apparently.

1 comment:

  1. Then there is this: (Isaiah 14:23) I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts.
    What is besom? Is it bosom? They are even more alike than bosom / bottom. But really, it means broom: a broom made of twigs tied around a stick.