Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Some personal thoughts of late.....

I'm the wife of an African American man. I’m the mother of 4 Black children. They have medium toned skin, a deep golden color that never burns... 2 have green eyes, 1 has brown and 1 had bright blue eyes. I’m the mother of 4 Greek children. My youngest requests Feta cheese with anything, at anytime and any place. We get weird looks at restaurants sometimes.

I don’t define my children by their earthly heritage and race. They are children of God. I define them by their kindness, their compassion and their diligence to our Heavenly Father. With that said though, I am also so very grateful for their rich earthly heritage and race. It’s part of who they are and there are deep traditions and histories to be found to benefit them as children of God.

Recently, so much strife has been resurfaced in our nation because of the media and the trials they choose to focus on. I’m not trying to be political and I don’t care to hear your opinion on the trial. Sorry. That’s why I’m not on Facebook. Comments will be deleted that aren’t Christ centered because this may be America, but it’s my blog. I’m not trying to be a brat, I’m trying to be a missionary. I also received a comment in July about a story that I posted by one of the apostles. In the story, the hard topic of history and racism was center to the story as well as priesthood blessings. I’m a firm believer that children are close to the spirit and are quick to understand. I’m a firm believer in talking with our children and helping them discover right and wrong. I shared the story with my children at home and enjoyed a spirit filled discussion. Their insight was uplifting. We bore testimony to each other and were edified by the experience. Are there some topics that are a little delicate, absolutely? I’ll be frank. Blacks and the priesthood and polygamy are subjects we don’t delve deeply into. Milk before meat as my eldest is only 8. I never post things on this blog that I feel are too complicated for young minds. Talking about racism with children can be a very positive experience.

But what I really want to talk about is love and respect because those 2 principles are paramount to defeat racism. If we can’t learn from history, our tomorrow will be beyond bleak. We all have family ties to greatness. The spirit of Elijah turns us to our beloved ancestors and helps us to see history. Sometimes history is full of pain. Sometimes history is full of wrongs. Always history shows us of examples who were willing to persevere, to have faith, to sometimes fight, and who trusted in their Maker. We should share with our children these examples of courage and truth, and encourage our children to appreciate righteous individuals who helped to make the world a better place. These individuals came from many different cultures, many different countries, many different races and religions. How many of these history makers do our children know?

God doesn’t want His children to hate each other. God doesn’t want us to fight. God doesn't want us to put others down. And yet, so many people use filthy words to be condescending, judgemental and to "prove a point". Do you sometimes look at people's facebook posts or letters to the newspaper editor and wonder why? We need to carefully heed the words of the scriptures:

Job 6:25  “How forcible are right words!”

Colossians 3:8  “Put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” 

James 1:19–20 “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:“For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

James 3:2 “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” 

Mosiah 2:32 “Beware lest there shall arise contentions among you.” 

Alma 12:14 “For our words will condemn us.” 

3 Nephi 11:29 “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention.”

Doctrine and Covenants 20:54 “And see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking.”

The world was created by God’s word. Undeniably, words are of great importance. God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. How carefully do we watch and monitor our speech? How much time is taken to think before our lips move or perhaps before the keys are typed?

Life is sacred. We’re commanded to mourn with one another. I’m not aware of any baptismal covenant that commands us to shoot off our mouth, put others down, discriminate, be rude, be offensive, be uncaring and unsympathetic and deny our fellow brothers and sisters of love or respect. People die and it’s sad. It’s one less person in this world who had a chance to make it a great place.

We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. God is our only judge. Be careful of blanket statements. Not everyone is a certain way for the most part. When we speak, let us follow the example of The Savior. Let us think, is this something He would say?

Blanket statements like “All blacks are…. Or all whites are…. Or All Hispanics are….” Or even “Blacks are…. Whites are…. Hispanics are….” are lies. Yes, that’s a strong statement but I stand by it. Not 100% of everyone can be defined in one lump sum or phrase… for the most part. If we want to make blanket statements, we can say that we’re all beggars upon God’s mercy. We’re all in need of the atonement. We all will kneel before our Savior and confess He is The Christ. Stereotypes are blanket statements, so beware. I find it interesting that in the dictionary a synonym for stereotype is vulgarize.

 My plea is that we will love each other a little more each day. That we’ll watch what we think and say. That we’ll strive to be compassionate and less critical of each other. My plea is that we’ll teach our children of Christ, of Christ like people, and how our children too can strive to be like The Master. There are many who make incorrect blanket statements about us, as members of The Church. There are blanket statements that say we’re racist, that we’re ignorant about other cultures, that we’re judgemental… these blanket statements are lies. Let us not fuel falsehoods by saying things that we haven’t really thought about.
I bear testimony I know Heavenly Father loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is our best friend. They want us to return to them and I know that the only way back is because of The Lord’s great sacrifice and through our own personal obedience to His great commands. I know that love, respect, and understanding of one another are essential to our joy. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Linz said...

Amen. And thank you.

sisinpacific said...

Amen! I love your blog and use it constantly. Keep up the great work.

Brent and Rachel Izu said...

Beautifully said, and a great reminder. Thank you.

Meredith Adolf said...

Love and respect *are* key! I will freely admit that the times I am most disappointed in my own children's behavior is when love and respect are not present. Thank you for the thoughts that you share, and for the time and effort you spend making our callings easier. <>

Chyrisse Ballard said...

That Was Beautifully Said. Thank You For Your Spiritual Insight And All You Do To Help Us As Primary LeadersTeach These precious SOuls. I Love Your Blog!

Ashlee said...

All of us have been singing in primary... "If the Savior stood beside me, would I say the things I say"?
Thank you for being a believer and example to others!

Angela Hanley said...

Beautiful, thanks for the reminder. My family is made up of Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, tall, short, smart, not-so-smart...I love them all and I'm grateful to be a part of my big wonderful family.

Carmen said...

So refreshing to read this. Thanks.