I do not consider myself an organist. Yes, I play the organ, but it's not my main instrument (although technically I haven't played my main instrument in five years, so does it still count?), I haven't ever had any kind of lesson for the organ, and I don't use organ shoes, which professionals do (I play without shoes).
However, I have, over the past little while, experienced some events which make me feel more credible calling myself an organist. I wonder what other rites of initiation I am missing to truly be an organist. Here's what I've experienced so far:
1. An apostle showing up at my sacrament meeting. I must say, I think it was a good thing Elder Oaks showed up and I did so poorly on the organ. It really encouraged me to improve my use of the pedals, and be more bold about attempting to include them. Nevertheless, it's quite unnerving to want to play absolutely brilliantly for an apostle, and not be physically capable of doing so.
2. A sacrament meeting devoted to hymns. This is one of those things like a testimony meeting, but instead of sharing a testimony, individual ward members get to pick any hymn they want, explain why they like it, then pick a verse to sing right then and there. It's pretty fun if you're in the congregation. As an organist, however... Well, it was exciting, at any rate, and I played pedals on all of them, if only for a few notes.
3. Someone asking me what stops I use. Are you serious? Me? I just push them all down and hope something good comes out! Ok, ok, that's not true at all, I do spend a considerable amount of time fiddling and listening and figuring out what does what. But still... someone asked me for my stops! I was flattered beyond belief.
Those are only three. What are some other things I need to do to become fully initiated? I know buying shoes is on the list, but I so love using just my feet. That's like trying to play the piano with gloves on. Or the horn while wearing a scarf. Why must it be that way? Alas.