04 September 2012

Truth and Consequences

Truth will stand, eternal and unchanging. As I read bloggers and comments all over the internet spout opinions about my religion I remember Galileo. He was arrested, tried and convicted of heresy because he taught that the sun is the center of the solar system, not the earth. He was not the first to teach this truth, and of course he was not the last, but in his day the truths he espoused were not accepted. The truth did not change because of this non-acceptance, it stood the test of time and with the proper instruments to view to solar system the truth is now universally accepted.

The truth that members of The Church of Jesus Christ is Latter-day Saints are in fact, word and deed Christians followers of Jesus Christ, is not universally accepted. But that doesn't change the truth and someday with the "proper instruments" to view the beliefs and practices of the church it will be an accepted truth.

I've always wondered why seekers of facts or truth don't go directly to the source. It would be like a person wanting to know about Subaru automobiles going to the Ford dealer. Would you get the straight scoop? Would anyone wanting to know about the Massachusetts Institute of Technology go to University of Nevada, Las Vegas for information. If I want to know about the Baptists I sure wouldn't go to the Lutherans.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not lie about it's theology, practices or customs. We do not brainwash individuals or force anyone to do anything against their will. All are welcome to attend our meetings and speak with members and missionaries. Look around the walls of our buildings and listen to the hymns we sing, the prayers over the Sacrament and then tell me that you believe we are not followers of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

One commenter said that the Book of Mormon was simply the rantings of a deranged mind (wonder where he heard that) and I wondered if he/she had ever read the book.

I do know that human beings are generally afraid of what they don't know and that fear tends to show itself as dislike. I can tell you about that from my own experience. As I was preparing to serve a mission I so hoped I would not get called to an Asian mission. I didn't like the food or the music or costumes or the strangeness of it all. I hadn't been introduced to the Asian cultures and found them to be odd at first glance. I wasn't sent there, I went to the deep South and learned to love the people of the Bible Belt, along with speaking Southern. After my mission I had experiences that opened my eyes a little bit and I could see that the Orient had wonderful things to offer. But it wasn't until many years later when our daughter Noble introduced me to all things Korean that I let go of my prejudices and opened my heart to learn of a people and culture rather different from mine.

Followers of Jesus Christ in other churches saying that Mormons aren't Christian are like me saying that Asians aren't human beings because they have customs and habits that are different than mine. We don't have to have the same customs, habits and tastes to value and appreciate each other as human beings; nor do we have to be the same in beliefs and customs to value and appreciate each other as followers of Jesus Christ. We have more in common than we are different. I can learn from you and you can learn from me. We can help each other and our communities if we unite in our commonalities and strengths rather than emphasizing our differences.

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