So here we are. After the most physically active summer in my life in a quarter century, I am on my sickbed with a pneumonia — and have lost my voice, too! And exercise is supposed to be good for you!!
So yes, I guess that finally I was forced to “speak up” metaphorically again.
Anyhow, I was thinking how important it is to actually open our mouths to let the people around us know of our testimony. And then, when the predictable question “why are you a Mormon” comes, you can just say what comes naturally. Really. We don’t have to be richer, better looking or in any way more successful than our neighbors; we just have to be sincere. That is the big issue, in my humble opinion.
The reason for the predictability of the question above is, that most people don’t know any local Mormons — because not all Mormons look like the full time missionaries, who go around talking to people — there are so few of us in the area. Basically my answer is, that I was brought up to observe “an appearance of godliness”, and that only halfheartedly. That alone does not make me at all singular in my environment. In fact, any regular religious observance makes one an eccentric around here.
It’s true that the society at large around is turning more and more secular. I personally see both good and bad things coming with it. The best thing about it that is emphasizes the importance of family and personal responsibility. We can not just let our children “vegetate” until they’re teenagers and start acting up — and almost all of them do something stupid, if it’s only weird hairdos and funny/awful looking clothes. Because they want to fit in with their friends…
And I absolutely don’t mean that I am holding myself up as a paragon of responsibility in family or personally. This is just an observation, but I stand behind it, until I’m proven wrong, okay! ?
I once read a good tag line from someone, so good that I remember it word for word: “In the process of childproofing our world we may neglect the more important duty of worldproofing our children.”
I could hardly agree more! I know it’s not healthy to be spending a lot of time researching the “enemy camp” but we must also have our eyes open to see what is happening. Because it seems that since the age of Reason we have progressed so far in our quest of turning over old taboos, that we are in fact in the age of Unreason as of now, and have been for a while. Everything that was once sacred is now trivialized or even demonized. If you don’t believe me, read a few newspapers and watch what’s going on in TV.
And our children will be up against that world much sooner than we usually think. Our three older children were coming home from a park — the big sister was barely old enough to go with her younger brother and sister (and our environment was physically safe) — when they found a hardcore porno magazine on the sidewalk. They left it right there (no trash cans visible — that’s how I remember it), but I bet the images were branded pretty deep into those young minds. Well, the happy thing about it was, that they knew about human reproduction already, and they knew what sex is for — and this gave us another opportunity to remind them, that it is sacred and beautiful, and that those magazines give a totally wrong impression of what it should be.
But I digress. I was talking about the responsibility we have to actually stand for something, and that not garrulously, belligerently or with a superior attitude, but humbly testifying. Telling that we have the testimony of Jesus, that we have felt the power of his Atonement wipe our sins away and give us a healing dose of grace. That we know that his resurrection is not a fable, but a reality, and that he speaks to us, “he is not dead, nor doth he sleep”. That we “have felt to sing the song of redeeming love” and we have a desire to share that peace and joy that it brings to us. This is a great responsibility we have toward our brothers and sisters. And while I’m at it, let’s also respect their convictions. Ignorance turns into stupidity only after it’s conclusively been proven willful. Many people have felt the Spirit witness to them when they’ve read the Bible, and what they have may be very close to what we have when you peel a couple of layers of convention away. Gone down that road so often…
So. I was expecting over a thousand words easily, but hey, nobody’s ever complained of a too short blog post to me!