Hey guys! I clearly don’t know what I’m doing with this space, but it has been nice to be on a different, cheaper hosting system so I don’t get so antsy (riddled with money wasting guilt) when I’m not feeling the blogging bug.
I just wanted to pop in & share this video that explains the Mormon temple garments (commonly referred to as magic underwear online). I’m typically not a really open person about my faith, but I’ve had lots of (tentative, nervous, and curious) questions about my underwear over the years (and I was always happy to answer questions), so I thought if you hadn’t seen this, it might be interesting. I think they did a really great job with the topic and the explanations, and love that they showed pictures of the temple garments and clothing alongside sacred or special religious vestments from other religions.
I am a ‘card carrying’ member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) — which means I have a temple recommend and keep it current even though I can’t attend temple services often these days due to my health. My faith is very important to me, though I am very quiet about it — it feels very, very personal, and isn’t something I want to fight or argue about. The Mormon culture in which I was raised and my pioneer heritage make up huge aspects of my identity — I would have a very hard time separating those things if I were to experience a faith crisis and wanted to leave the church (I don’t see myself ever leaving, but I just wanted to point out that my religion is more than just faith, it’s a way of life.*) I am not a perfect member (no one is!), and though I take comfort in my faith, I have a lot of unanswered questions too; especially concerning controversial issues that make headlines these days.
I, personally, am extremely accepting of people from all walks of faith or non-faith. I have a great deal of respect for people on the whole; good people who are doing their best in life to live according to their hearts – following the faith that is just as deep and meaningful to them as mine is to me. This respect encompasses those who struggle with or eschew a faith in a higher power altogether. *I have respect too, for those who honor their faith crises and leave — it cannot be easy. I don’t think those people are necessarily ‘wicked sinners'; they are people who are trying to follow their hearts.
God, as I understand him, along with his son, Jesus Christ embody love and understanding for all of their children here on earth. I view God as a perfect father to us all and I cannot see someone’s daddy tossing them out of their heavenly home just because they worshiped differently than I do. (Or hey, were raised in the Australian bush, or some remote tribe in South America and walked their own path of happiness — if we are all his children, how could he possibly damn someone to hell just because they grew up without ever meeting a missionary or wore loin cloth in an uncontacted tribe?) I do believe in right and wrong, but I also believe in a loving, understanding, all-knowing God who gives us our free agency and sent his children to earth in a huge array of cultures, lifestyles, and backgrounds. He allows us to make our own choices and to be affected by people making their own choices as well. As a result, we experience pain, sickness, death, frustration, grief, anger, and hurt, but also personal growth, love, joy, and happiness.
I am not a theologian. I am not even a scriptorian. I’m not going to knock on your door and ask you to read the Book of Mormon. I’m not going to fight with you over various interpretations of the Bible. While I question things and think for myself and don’t think I am a blind-follower, I also don’t feel driven to strip organized religion to its core and examine the pieces. I’m okay with not having all the answers. I have had an Evangelical Christian yell at me and offer to pray for my rescue from my horrible, misguided cult. It wasn’t my favorite experience, but I respect her boldness of faith and doing what she felt was the right thing to do. I know that missionaries of my faith can be obnoxious and pushy, and understand completely why someone might slam a door in their face, too (and I really hope I can train my children up to be respectful of others on their missions, should they choose to go). I honestly think for the most part (excluding the legitimately deranged, truly sick, evil people, of whom I’m sure there are many… the world is gross sometimes, y’all) we’re all bumbling about down here, trying to be happy.
I believe that Christians, at our core, all believe in the same Jesus (the one who suffered for our sins and died to save us all). I believe that fighting over the definitions of Jesus or God won’t get us anywhere. I like it when Christians from different churches can hold hands and be friends — or better yet, work together to do good in the world. I like it even more when Christians can respect an agnostic or atheist point of view, and vice a versa. While I am not outgoing enough to be a missionary, my faith brings me hope, peace, comfort, and joy. I am happy to share that with anyone who is interested, but I completely respect those who feel comfortable and happy in where they are at … or you know, just too fond of beer to join up with a bunch of nutty teetotalers.
I understand why people who leave their faiths might feel angry and hurt and then lash out at their former religion — it’d be nice if they didn’t feel like they must trash my way of life, but I totally get where they are coming from, too. I can smile at a lot of LDS humor and mockery, and unlike it says in the video above, I’m not horrifically offended if you call my panties magic — I’ve done so myself, though I see their (the video makers’) point. Mean-spirited mockery of religion & religious artifacts/vestments can make me sad to see (whether it’s toward my religion or someone else’s) and I don’t enjoy stumbling across it, but I also understand it, and realize that it is a pie-in-the-sky dream for everyone the world over to just hold hands and sing kumbaya.
I fully realize this is a jumbled mess of a post, but if I try to edit it and make it eloquent I’ll probably never post it. I might delete it at some point if getting public with my random and meandering statement of Belief makes me feel uncomfortable at some point. Be nice in the comments, k? Or just say hi even if you don’t care about any of this, because that’s okay too. xx
p.s. Pictures apropos of nothing. It was just a lot of text.
p.p.s. Still struggling along over here. Sometimes rashy, sometimes swollen, sometimes super dizzy, but very little actual passing out (knock on wood). I feel like I’m making progress, but it’s slow.
p.p.p.s. I signed up for a writing class and it has been really, really fun.
p.p.p.p.s. I’m totally doing NANOWRIMO next month, are you? I’m verymom over there, let’s be friends.