Friday, May 18, 2012
I Am Not a Commercial Vehicle
I was told, "I'm sorry. That kind of van is considered a 'commercial vehicle,' and with your current membership, we can't tow it." What?! Excuse me?! Here I've been paying for a service that they can't even provide?! CRAZY!
I assured the gentleman on the other end of the phone that I use it daily and it transports my children. I don't use it for commercial reasons. It's a "family car."
I'm finding that this experience is part of a much bigger lesson that I'm learning right now.
The other day, my daughter was present when a girl spoke up in front of her entire class and said, "All Mormons look good when they're outside, but inside they're all very different than what they show outwardly." When my daughter shared this with me, I laughed because of all the Mormons I know, that daughter's one of the most genuine I know. There is no pretense. She is who she is inside and out. Enter the front door or enter the back door, and you get the same girl. I can't say that about all LDS people, but I'm pretty confident about her. That's her personality.
In the situation with the van, I believe AAA should have looked at my situation--me, as an individual, and truly judged my need by my circumstances. I think anyone hearing this story would feel the same.
It was clear that the nearest group of women to us, on the train, were going to the same place, but it was also very clear, as I overheard their conversation, that none of them were very familiar with that part of town. I could hear them struggling to know which stop to get off at. This group of four women jointly decided to take the stop two sooner than they should have. I didn't say anything because I wanted to see what would happen(I guess sometimes I'm just evil like that), and I knew they were going to get where they wanted to go. However, it was fascinating to me that they weren't the only group of women who got off at that stop. They, being the group closest to the door, drew all of the other groups of women off the train at that very same stop. My friend and I, being a bit more experienced with that train and its stops, remained...alone.
Tonight at ward council, we discussed the term "traditions of their fathers" that's found so often in the scriptures and how this habit, of following the traditions of our fathers, gets us into so much trouble in our lives. The bishop shared the fact that for years, we, as members of the Church, have had topics that we have refused to discuss. Our parents didn't discuss them with us, and so we don't talk about them either. He explained what some of those topics might be.
this post, I don't believe that LDS people are bigots. I don't believe we mean to be judgmental. I truly believe that, for the most part, we're good people, we're just uninformed and sheltered. We tend to feel that ignorance is bliss. Like I said, we want to live in a world of sunshine and roses, but we somehow think we can avoid the sunburn and thorns. We want to pretend they don't exist, and sometimes I wonder if we ignorantly believe that if we ignore them long enough, they will all go away.
In believing this way, we're getting off the train two stops too early.
The truth of the matter is, we all need to open the door and confront him head on. Then the questions arise, how do I feel about this issue and that? There are some HUGE issues out there, and they just seem to multiply daily. With an LDS man running for presidential office, people are going to have questions and they're going to make judgments. We're going to be lumped. Is this fair? No. I know it's not, but remember, we're all human.
If we want to avoid be lumped, we have to stop cowering in the corner. We must get some, as my husband would say, "Cajones," and figure out what we truly believe. We must, each of us, be bold when questioned about how we stand. Bold enough to not be intimidated. Of anyone in the world, we should know, and we should be strong in that knowledge. I'd also like to add that we are not alone. I had once heard that the LDS faith was the fourth largest religion in my state (Oregon), but according to this website, it looks like we might rank second to Catholicism, and I truly don't believe that we are alone. I believe there are many who aren't LDS who agree with us. Then why are we being so silent?
These are just some of the things we need to face. If you don't know, maybe it's time to open the door. The great thing is we don't have to go fearfully or blindly. We have power and prayer behind us.
I can tell you that anything facing us now has been addressed in one of the recent sessions of General Conference. The Family: A Proclamation to the World is an inspired document. It holds so many answers for us. We have so many places we can go to get answers. Most of all, we can go to our Heavenly Father and have Him direct us to what we, as individuals, need to know. Really, with all that behind us, how can we go wrong?
In this day and age, we, as families and more especially as individuals, cannot afford to be sheep. We cannot afford to be lumped. We cannot allow ourselves to be considered commercial vehicles. The time has come for each of us to open the closet door and face what has been unspeakable, but the only way to do that is to face it in private with the Lord first. He knows us for who each of us are and will teach us what is true. He's never let us down.
If someone confronts you and you don't know how you feel, it's okay to say, "I'm not sure. I've never been asked that before. Let me think about it, and I'll get back to you on that."
Really, what do we have to be afraid of?