I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have been my whole life—my parents are members and raised me in the church. When I was eight years old, I was baptized. I have always had a faith that comes naturally that is now deep and abiding. The thing I have a hard time understanding, though, is why there are people that have such a hard time being okay with these facts about me or millions of others who are living a similar lifestyle.
A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I went on a Youth Conference trip as chaperones. We went to Palmyra, NY to see some church history sites and watch the Hill Cumorah Pageant. It was quite a trip—three busses full, driving over eight hours each way. We had youth leaders on each bus leading us in games and songs and trying to unite a bunch of kids who are vastly different from each other, yet who are so much alike in ways that they don’t recognize yet. We had a guest speaker, Brother Bassett, who spoke to us each day and did an excellent job inspiring us to be better people than we were the day before. We said prayers and sang hymns. We went on tours and learned history. We danced and ate and sweated and slept.
The problem (and this is where my 2 cents comes in) was that several places we went, there were anti-Mormon demonstrators, yelling and carrying on. I walked peacefully with my sweet husband out of a tour and there was a man (whom I can’t describe because I refused to look at him and give him any acknowledgment) who was holding up a sign (which I did not read) and yelling. He was yelling as loudly as he could, to anyone who would give ear. He was yelling all kinds of lies about my church and what people in my church do and believe. Some of the things he was yelling were silly and some were sacrilegious. Some were belligerent and some were blasphemous.
The Pageant was wonderful. It is put on by volunteers of families and individuals, and the outcome is a pageant full of color and life and spirit. It was a great show. The volunteers/actors came down before the show in full costume and spoke with the people in the crowd. They were happy and polite and friendly and virtuous. As we walked back to the buses, shouting on megaphones assaulted us like slaps in the face. Once again, there were people full of hatred for us shouting their disapproval through megaphones—shouting lies and trying to spread hatred to others so it would spread like a virus. There were even children holding signs with hate-filled words upon them that stood outside the lot as we drove past.
I can’t believe that this sort of hatred is still being acted on toward groups of people in this day and age. I might as well have been a Jew during the holocaust, or a Native American during the American travels westward, or a black girl trying to integrate into an all white school in the 1970’s. I don’t understand how we can keep hating groups of people time and time again when individually, we are all the same. We all have blood running in our veins and thoughts running through our heads. We all have similar joys and sorrows. The differences come when some of us open our minds to love and others to hate. My heart was full of sorrow driving past a child around my own child’s age being taught to hate and then act on that hate.It will never be acceptable to teach hatred—whether at home or church or school or on the news or in books or through shouts in a megaphone (all of which, by the way, I have been witness to and had to rebuff my peer’s questions and insults as a result).
I fully support free speech, with which I am allowed to worship how where and what I may, but on this private blog, I will not accept any hateful comments. *image borrowed fromwww.josephsmith.net
I took these pictures. I made this stuff with my own two hands. I wrote these words. It's just a bunch of craziness, but it's what in this noggin. If you're going to use any of my stuff for your own stuff, just ask me. (I'm sure I'll say yes. I'm nice like that.) And a little linkie love never hurt anyone if you know what I'm sayin;)