Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Story They Never Told Us

My parents the day they got baptized.
This is my very favorite picture of them.
Yesterday I drove three hours (two hours when there isn't traffic) to Olympia to hang out with Aaron and Amanda. I talked to Aaron's mom for a bit and she told me how great my parents are and how much she misses being in their ward. Then she told a story about them that I had never heard before. She was pretty sure, but not 100% sure, that the story was about my parents. So when I got home late last night I asked my parents if the story was about them and they confirmed that it was. I was shocked they'd never told me or my siblings. Here's what happened.

Buzz and Ginny Schilaty in 1971
My parents got married in 1971 and then randomly bumped into Mormonism the following year and joined the church. They had no children and two incomes so they lived off of one income and put the rest into a college fund for their unborn children (they're planners). In 1975 the church announced that it would build a temple in Seattle and each ward was asked to contribute to the building fund. My parents' ward hosted a dinner and asked people to pledge money. At this point my mom had had a number of miscarriages and she and my dad thought they might never be able to have children. So during the dinner they decided to donated the entire college fund to the temple building fund. My dad told me that it was one of the most spiritual moments of his life and he hasn't regretted it for a second.

When Aaron's mom told me this story my reaction (half joking, half serious) was, "Too bad they didn't keep the money!" because my oldest brother was born the next year. But my parents have taught me over and over again that when you put the Lord first He will take care of you. I remember shortly after I got home from my mission someone gave me $1,000 for school. I asked my mom if I was supposed to pay tithing on that money since it was basically a tuition scholarship. She said, "You're smart enough to figure out the right thing. I don't know what you should do, but I do know that you can never be too generous with the Lord."

It's been 41 years since my parents donated the money intended for our schooling to the Seattle Temple. My parents have four children, we all have master's degrees, and none of us ever had to take out a loan for our schooling. I think my mom was right.

I don't know why my parents never told us kids this story, but it's something I will think about from now on every time I see the Seattle Temple.


Amanda Duke said...

That's such a great story! I love that Deb is the one that told you about it :)

becky Jackson said...

I can totally see them doing that.
And your and your siblings' education
is proof that the Lord blesses those who give!!!

Unknown said...

Omg I'm crying, this is beautiful. What a great reminder for me. Thank you for sharing!

Kristen Duarte said...

Thanks for sharing this story! Your parents are examples of amazing faith & they (and you & your siblings) have been blessed because of it.

Kristine Gehret said...

I'm not surprised to read that story given the fact that they were completely converted to the gospel. True stalwarts and such great examples of service to the Lord. That's why Kelly was anxious for me to meet your parents. He thought the world of them and loved them both so much. Buzz and Ginny's legacy will live on thru their children. You and your siblings seem like shining examples of true believers in what's right. So carry on Ben with what is right with your light!!