Monday, October 3, 2011


This last weekend, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered in meetinghouses and homes to listen and watch our General Conference. General Conference is a semi-annual event that happens in our church.  It is a time to gather together and hear from various leaders of our Church.  For members and non-members alike, it can be a time of learning and spiritual renewal. I so look forward to it every 6 months. I love the Spirit of peace and calm it brings into my home.  I love that there is no where we need to rush to, but we can all just sit together and enjoy the speakers. With 4 small children, it is not nearly as calm and peaceful as I have described, but we do what we can to keep them engaged, if only for a bit.  They play Conference Bingo (where they get to fill in a space when they hear someone talking about something specific) or they get to color in pictures when they see a specific person speaking. Just little things to keep them engaged for a bit. This year I had several friends, not of my faith, who watched the Conference.  I wasn't online during the meetings, but after, I saw these tweets from my friend Nish.  A little about Nish - she is an amazing woman.  She loves God and is very firmly rooted in her faith in Him.  She and her family are relocating to Salt Lake City in a few weeks, and she wanted to get to know a little more about her new neighbors. I am very sensitive to how my Church comes off to others.  I strive for unification myself.  I believe we are all children of God and despite what your religious beliefs, I am sure we can find something we agree on.  I strive to find those things in common and build off of that.  I want to learn about other religions and want to share mine with others.  I firmly believe if we will all just stop talking and start listening, things will be so much more peaceful. I have been thinking about this a lot.  Why do we tear down others with beliefs that are not our own?  Is it that we are afraid of learning something new?  Are we so afraid of finding similarities because it could mean what we believe may not be all there is to the story? I was born and raised a Mormon.  However, my folks were not.  They joined the LDS church in 1973.  They lived in Mississippi and were drawn to the LDS church because of the lay ministry and focus on the family.  They had such a hard time with their Methodist Minister driving around in a Cadillac when there were members of their congregation who were starving. It was not an easy road for my parents.  Their families did not understand it.  I don't know my Dad's side of the family very well because they were not happy with he and my Mom joining the Church.  My Mom's parents finally accepted it when they realized that if they didn't they would not see their only grand children. Before she died, my Grandma said to me "Kimmie, I didn't agree with your folks when they joined your church. But, I do know this, it changed them for the better.  Anything that will change you for the better is good in my book". Isn't that what we want?  Don't we want to be changed for the better?  What does it matter how it comes?  Building up, building unity, realizing what we have in common instead of focusing on all we don't agree on is what will change the world. What do we have in common? Here is what I know - tell me if you agree.  God loves me.  I am His daughter.  Jesus is my Savior and He died for me.  The Bible is the word of God.  So is the Book of Mormon.  Scriptures are tools for us to learn and gain happiness through the word of God. The Heavens are not closed and God continues to send revelation to His people here on Earth. That is a portion of what I believe.  You may not agree with all of it or any of it.  But the point is this.  We can listen to each other, we can grow, and we can show one another respect for what we believe. When we can learn to do this, hatred will be gone from the world.  When we can learn to be united by what we believe, there will be peace.

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