Monday, July 13, 2009
Have you ever stood up for what you believe even when it was very hard? Tell about it.
Years ago, about 1974 to be more accurate, I had been a stay at home mother of three for about ten years. I was about to embark on a new experience, returning to college to finish my teaching degree. I had had three years prior to starting my family and was returning to finish my last year which by now had turned into two years because of added requirements for graduation that had occurred in that interium of time. Upon entering, the first classes I was required to take were sociology and anthropology. In the early 70's life in our world had changed a lot since I had last been a college student. Life at the liberal University of Utah and my conservative Mormon values and beliefs were about to hit a collision like no other I had ever experienced. My first class was an Anthropology class. the Professor was a very intelligent man with a broad vocabulary and very liberal views. One time I had missed a test and had to make it up. I was to meet the professor and take the test. After completing the test we walked across campus together to eat lunch at the cafeteria. As we walked, our discussion turned to A description of God. My professor stated: "Who said God is a He? Maybe God is a she or an it. I was shocked to say the least. I attempted a discussion with him on why I couldn't agree with his view, and became extremely frustrated when I was no match for his debating skills and broad vocabulary. I returned home that day discouraged that I was not prepared to defend my own beliefs. Upon discussing it with my husband, he reassured me that I had done the best I could and I shouldn't argue religion anyway. I knew that, but couldn't be at peace about that conversation. I felt I was weak and inadequate at standing up for my beliefs.
A few days later, I was sitting in class taking notes for a test. The words that were being spoken by the professor were outrageous to me. Somehow being silent about what he was saying seemed like agreement. I knew that speaking out on my beliefs on the subject would cause me a great deal of discomfort and most assuredly would create a debate in class and I knew I was no match for his vocabulary and speaking skills. You needed a dictionary just to know what he was saying. However, my conscience whispered to me, Dare to stand for what you believe. I raised my hand and as politely and clearly as I could, I said, I just want you to know that though I'm taking these notes for the test and will use my notes to answer the test, I just have to let you know that with all due respect for your beliefs I cannot believe a word you are saying. I feel a need to let you know that I cannot in good conscience agree with you. Well, what I thought would happen did. I became the object of ridicule. I however felt wonderful. As class drew to an end I stated, "While I respect your right to your beliefs, they are not mine. You are entitled to your beliefs and I mine. Yes, I passed the class. But if I hadn't it would have been okay, because the feeling within was worth it!
Friday, June 5, 2009
After a recent death in my family my mind has been focused on my beliefs about life and death.
My feelings and knowledge about death stem from my religious beliefs and my study of the subject and my experience with it. Sharing my feelings with you the reader somehow feels as if it would be theraputic, even though we might not share the same viewpoint. Sometimes we feel like speaking about death because it is such a curious subject, yet other times speaking about it is the last thing we want to do. So I will understand if you find me a bit morbid.
First , speaking of life, may I say I believe in God and Jesus Christ. This world couldn't have just happened. I believe their is order in all things. I believe Christ is a loving God who gave us the free agency to choose for ourselves. I believe in an afterlife. I think God wants us to be obedient and return to him in the next life. The scripture are our book of instructions so to speak. The scriptures can be misinterpreted so we must pray about them as we read them. The light of Christ will speak to our minds and hearts and tell us the right way to live. We will make mistakes of course because we are human. We will have trials. We will be tested, we will grow, we will learn, we will experience joy and sorrow. If we will let him, God will be there to comfort and guide us. Then comes death. Death is hard, but not the final part of our existence. We who are left behind feel homesickness and loss. Upon death the spirit leaves and the body stays in the grave. We either feel that we won't see them again or it will be such a long time we cannot bear it. In God's perspective of time our separation will be short. We feel it is long. I believe that our loved ones who have passed are possibly right here on earth. We just can't see them. They are busy working for God and checking up on us. Sometimes they are allowed to communicate to us in different ways. God gives us many chances to become more perfect like He is. When we leave this life, however we will be as far along the road to perfection as we have attained to in this life. We will take ourselves with us so to speak. Some of God's children who are further along will be happily teaching others, just like on this earth. The only difference is they won't have this glorious body. When the time comes and no man knows when that is , Christ will appear on earth. Our bodies will be reunited with our spirits. We will be glad to have our bodies back. Then comes Judgement day. Time to see what place we have earned in the eternities. God will have given us many chances. Will we be happy in the estate we have earned?
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Was I prepared to become a parent? Now as a grandmother looking back, I asked myself that question. Is anyone ever totally prepared? Never! However all the education and tutoring you can have will be helpful. The education of child development classes I had in college were useful as well as the many self-help books I read. And don't forget Dr. Spock. Studying and meditating on my parents skills helped, but like so many others before me I thought vainly and mistakenly that I was going to improve upon what my parents did. Many times I heard my mother speaking as I corrected my children. My religious teaching probably gave me my biggest success.
I remember a rather humorous experience that happened to my husband and I as young newlyweds just out of college who thought we had the world by the tail. Fresh from child development classes, and enthusiastic about our first child, we were excitedly explaining how we were going to raise our first son to some of the members of my husband's family. My brother-in-law, a seasoned parent, finally more than amused at our inexperience replied, "I can't wait until this perfect child is born!" We were indignant! When our first son was born he continued to comment each time he saw our son, "So this is what a perfect child looks like!" In the passage of time, he finally put that sarcastic comment to rest and left us to make our mistakes in peace. Finally, with much love, prayer and sincerity of heart, we through trial and error finally raised two sons and a daughter quite well, though not perfect, somewhat like their parents, whose diligent parents raised them.