Monday, March 31, 2014

"Those Crazy Mormons Convention!"

Okay, all my LDS Homies!  I have something to say regarding conference.  My comments are not that it's good to watch conference, because I think that goes without being said.  The word of the Lord spoken to us by a prophet today?  Modern revelation to help us through our live in these current days?  Knowledge poured out to us from Heaven regarding the most imminently important subject that we are currently facing, because the Lord knows we are currently facing them?  I mean, who would want to miss that?

Link to apostle's admonition about the upcoming conference.

What I'm hoping is that you will ponder with me for a moment about the space of time following the final "amen" of a conference session.  Be it the end of the women's conference, the first session on saturday, or the last session on Sunday.  How are we behaving immediately after these sessions.  What are our actions as we leave the conference center.

Look at all those thousands of people.  Just look at them!  You are sitting there thinking, "Oh man, traffic is going to be a nightmare after this!"  or "My son keeps whispering to me how he's 'starving'.  By the time I get to my reservation at applebees they better seat us immediately!"  

Perhaps it would do us well to analyze these thoughts and how we may then act 'less than Christlike' as we leave the conference center if we are feeling anxious about food or travel.

But, what is that showing about the church?

Did those last two, four or six hours of conference give us a way to rise above these human, natural tendencies?  Well, if the answer is yes then I would invite us all to behave accordingly.  The reasons are one: #1 You are a disciple of Jesus Christ.  #2. People are watching you.

Let's look at this from another perspective.  Imagine, I am a waitress named Jessica, at a restaurant near the conference center.  I am a non-denominational Christian.  My co-worker, Linda, who is a lesbian and Catholic, turns to me and says, "So, remember it's conference in 3 days!"  with an exasperated sigh.  I, Jesicca, am suddenly filled with anxiety, "Oh no!  Those crazy mormons are always so demanding.  You know last time I was waiting a table of mormons after conference.  They came in all fancy, with their nice clothes on, and I swear they think that because they came to this 'convention thing', they are something extra special.  This family made reservations but we were backed up and they had to wait a half hour.  The dad was complaining to me for a solid 10 minutes about how they should have a table since they made reservations."

Linda responds, "I know right!?  Last time I waited some guy after that mormon convention.  He told me he was glad I wasn't one of those 'rainbow gay waiters'.  I was like, 'well I'm lesbian, so you have a problem with that?"

There are non-members all over Salt Lake.  As much as we may wish to believe that Salt Lake City is the mecca of mormons, and that we are all of one mind and one heart, this is not so.  But I will tell you one thing, everyone in Salt Lake city, whether religious, atheist, gay, lesbian, or whatever walk of life they are in, all want to be loved.  All people have an innate desire for care, patience and understanding.  Is this not what our prophets are telling us to have more of?

I believe it is extremely important that we watch our actions.  Always remember who we are and live as examples.  There is something different, however, about this special time of conference.  Those who are not LDS know who the LDS people are.  The LDS people come in armies and throngs on a specific weekend, every six months.  They wear suits and ties, dresses and skirts.  Many times, all these non-members know about mormons is how they act after conference.  That is it!  Think of the impact of the short interactions we have with all those around us who just so happen to know one thing about us, that we are mormon!  Are we reflecting what we are really about?  Are we showing them evidence of the things we were just taught by our actions, which is Christ-like love, having an eye single to the Glory of God, patience and understanding for all mankind, and service?
Some applicable words by President Thomas S. Monson, the prophet of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints.  "Paul's words are applicable to each of us: "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  .. Neglect not the gift that is in thee.  .. Meditate upon these things."  

If you are not Mormon and are reading this message, I hope you will have patience with us mormons.  Know that we truly are trying to do our best.  We may say some things or do some things that don't reflect our beliefs perfectly, and I ask for your forgiveness in that.  I pray that you may be able to look past what faults we may have and come and see for yourself what this 'convention' is really about. In all truthfulness, the messages that are shared are incredible and inspired. The kind of messages that bring peace and a sense of wholeness and love. They are messages with the ultimate goal of bringing 'souls unto Christ.'

Comment. Follow.  Ask questions.  Smile.  :)  If you wish.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rhythmic Beauty

There is a rhythmic beauty in the universe that all begins with God. 

A song named "Spiders Web" - By Katie Melua is an intriguing song to me.  The way I see it, she says it is hard for us to know what is right and wrong, and that right and wrong can seem very close to each other.  My favorite line from this song is:

“The piano keys are black and white, but they sound like a million colors in your mind.”

This really illustrates how perception can change everything, and what may seem simple at first can really be something very intricate.   I also think that it means that we can look at something one way, and think that we have all the information we need to determine what is really going on, but in reality there is a whole other dimension to what we are looking at.  
I would like to delve, for a moment, into this "other dimension".  The dimension of thought.  The dimension of who we are and why we are what we are.  The dimension that is all things real which we cannot see, which are the most important realities for life.  

Ponder with me for a moment:
 Why is it disturbing to hear piano keys being banged?  Why is it teeth grinding-ly uncomfortable to hear screeching, or think of a tortured person?  Why is it unnerving to be in a pitch black room, with no knowledge of what is in the room, and nothing but the clothes you are wearing to hold on to?

Why does it disturb us when hate invades us?  Why do we then, so often desire retaliation for such invasions? Why does something within us seem to say that there is a better way to resolve conflict?  

Why does the sound of a sobbing child seem to cause an instinct reaction, within us, of dis-ease wanting to stop the crying, either out of frustration or out of love?  
How can our hearts be broken?  How is this humanly possible?

What makes bad things bad?

The answer is the same for the following questions,

Why does a sweet melody always seem to sooth the soul?

Why does the sound of soft wind, running effortlessly through your hair, send a chill of pleasure down your spine?
Why does walking toward a gorgeously sun lit path, leading you to someone you love, give such  a sense of security and hope?

Why is it that when someone does something kind or generous for you, in a time of great need, it is so natural to react with a heart full of gratitude?

Why is it that when we embrace a child who is crying, giving them all the healing love we can find within us, why then do we have such a blessed feeling inside as we know that our tender influenced touched the child and soothed their tears?  

How can our hearts be in love?  How are they capable of loving?  How is this actually possible?  

What is the answer to all these questions?  
They are all the same answer: Because of God.
Because God exists.
Because God exists these things are so.  
We feel, because God exists.
We experience these things because we are human, and we are only human because God is God. 

Much like a child starts to obtain similar characteristics to his parents, (perhaps he has his mother’s laugh, and his dad's sense of logic) we all have characteristics of God.  Whether we believe in him, or of him, or deny him completely, we cannot escape this reality.  We are his children.  These "instincts" are simply human, but also inhuman.  They are man and God.  They are man's experience entwined with who we really are, God’s literal offspring.   And why do we have a human experience? Because of God.

Alma 30:44
"... Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempts your God?  Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets?  The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God;  yeah, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator"

I also witness, that there is a Supreme Creator. 

Thank you for reading, and sharing in my flow of thought.  :)