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Friday, November 2, 2012

Never Intended

image: lifeincareer-sis.blogspot.com
I never thought, when I started this blog, that I'd be termed an "LDS blogger." It was not my intention to only write about the things that I believe, but it was my intention to write from my heart, and that is how, I guess, I've been placed under that heading. The things that I believe are firmly planted in my heart. My hope is that they make me a better person.

Sometimes it seems people have the wrong idea about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yes, we do have missionaries throughout the world, and yes, we do believe in sharing what we believe because we know the happiness it has brought to our lives, but I have often heard people who aren't members of our faith mention that we, as members of the Church, are only friends with those who aren't for the purpose of converting them to our faith. Of course, none of us would be disappointed if this happened. We'd actually be overjoyed, but that's to be expected, right?

I need to assert here, though, that this is NOT our intention, and I want to let you know that if you've had this experience, it's because someone cared enough about you to want you to have the joy he/she feels. Somebody cared enough to open up his/her heart and deepest feelings to you and wanted to let you in. If that offended you, and I can see how it might--it's hard to be confronted with something that could change your life--I'd like to help you see the other side of this equation--from the LDS point of view. Please note, however, that this is from one individual's perspective. Maybe other members would tell you otherwise, but I'd hope not....

We, as regular, normal, everyday members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are enthusiastic about what we've learned, felt, and come to understand about the purpose of life and the joy and perspective that our Savior has brought into our lives. When you get excited about something, you just want to share it, right? We are also aware, because at some point someone also shared these things with us, that it's a bit intimidating to share these feelings with others. How will they feel when I open up? What will they think? Will they be offended? Will I lose a friend?

It is a rare person, who can open up such things, be rejected, and then carry on in a normal way as if nothing happened. I wish this wasn't the case, but it is human nature. I would assert that most members of the LDS faith aren't that shallow to just drop someone because they didn't want to join the Church. It's just that rejection is tough to take. Again, that is not our motive in having friends. We want to have friends just like everybody else in or out of our own sphere of belief. If, after sharing his/her beliefs with you, that person dropped you as a friend, and therefore, further drove home the idea that he/she was only using you to convert you, I hope you can now understand what was going on.

If this has happened to you? Could you approach that LDS friend and talk about it? It might make you both feel better. Really, we members of the LDS church are just people, and some of us don't have as thick skin as you might believe. If you care about that person and want to be friends, why not say so and smooth things over?

image: civicdilemmas.facinghistory.org
In our society there are a few topics that we just don't talk about--religion is one of those. Why? Why does it offend us so?

I think, if you have an LDS friend, you should open up a dialog. Just a simple: why do you feel this way about this?

It'll probably freak your LDS friend out a bit. They'll probably be surprised just because we've come to accept the fact that talking about religion is taboo, but admit it, you've had questions. You've heard rumors. Don't you really want to know if they're true?

I will admit, there are some very interesting, even strange, religions out there, but I think, if you come to understand, you'd see that we, as members of the LDS faith, aren't all that strange. Things make sense, you just have to come to see the big picture. A puzzle, when missing too many pieces, looks a bit strange too, don't you think?

So, go ahead....ask some questions. You can even go so far as to say, "I don't want you to convert me, and I don't want to meet with your missionaries (or maybe you do, and if so, just say so). I just want to ask some questions." After your LDS friend laughs, you may not only find out some interesting facts, but you may find that you have increased a friendship. You can't share personal things, such as beliefs, without increasing trust. I think you'll be surprised to find that we're just normal, everyday people with some rather deep, yet simple understandings about life.

image: zazzle.com
And so, if this sharing of my heart terms me an LDS blogger, so be it. It's just one portion of my heart, but I'm happy to share it.


vaxhacker said...

Hear, hear.

Emily said...

You are amazing. Well put my dear. I learn lots from your blog and the feelings you share. Thank you!!!

LeAnn said...

This was a great post on a timely subject. You did such a wonderful job of covering this subject. Blessings and hugs!

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