Hahaha! I love this! But then I was wondering, why, if there are so many members and missionaries out there, do so many others still think we are so secretive? All our information is out there, you can download the Book of Mormon for free on any phone, ipad, Kindle or any other electronic device for free. You can download all the General Conferences (bi-annual conferences where the Prophet and the Apostles speak to us) on itunes for free. You can go to www.lds.org to read anything and everything about our belief.
Why then are we still considered secretive?
I think the answer lies within the members. Yes these fine young men devote 2 years of their lives to go out there and preach full time, but realistically, how many people are they going to teach? And even if they could knock on every door in their area, how many would actually let them in and listen to their message? Members are everywhere, we are in the community, we are your neighbors, and yet you may never know. We are taught to go out there and be good examples, but I came up with a metaphor that I think some members forget the most important part of being a good example:
"You (members of the LDS church) are the billboard for the church, make sure the name of the company isn't left off."
We can be the best example there is out there, but if people don't know our religion then they are just going to think we are just really awesome nice people.
I actually came to this conclusion years ago, but I still struggle with sharing this very important part of me with others, why? I think it's because Mormons are also people pleasers. We want to help, we want to lift up, we want to bake you a casserole and be your friend. I think it is the possibility that we will offend someone with our beliefs that we remain tight lipped. I'm just speaking from experience here, there may be a million of reasons why it's hard for someone to share their religious views with others, but growing up in the Bible belt I have had my fair share of people telling me I was going to hell because of my Mormon beliefs. So that does make me a little hesitant to share, and my pulse quickens every time it gets brought up as to what religion I am. Are these people going to accept me for who I am, or are they going to lay into me about how we worship 'ole Joe Smith and polygamy?
Which on a side note, to say that we worship Joseph Smith because he started the church and gave us the Book of Mormon is to say all Christians worship Moses for leading his people through the Red Sea and gave them the 10 commandments. And for the umpteenth time, we DO NOT practice polygamy anymore, it was one of those times when the Lord said it was necessary, probably much in the same way it was necessary when Abraham of the Old Testament was a prophet and had multiple wives...just saying.
But I digress...I have come across people who are skeptical of us because we are so helpful. They wonder what is in it for us, what are we up to that we can give so freely? Well guess what, there is something in it for me. I have complete selfish reasons to help you, it brings ME joy! It gives ME the light of Christ! When we are in the service of our fellowman we are in the service of our Lord (Mosiah 2:17) and there is no greater joy than to serve Him. I may not even know you, but I'm going to help you out to the best of my ability because I know that Heavenly Father loves you. And because I love Him I going to do everything I can to help others.
We believe that it is only through our Savior, Jesus Christ that we are saved and can return to him and our Heavenly Father. We believe in the Bible and that the whole reason for the Book of Mormon is to prove that the Bible is true, that Jesus did live, die for us and rose again!
I have been contemplating writing this post for awhile, but I kept chickening out. Then I read this that a missionary in this area posted today on Facebook:
The Fellowship of the Unashamed I am part
of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have
stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of
JESUS CHRIST. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past
is redeemed my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I’m
finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees,
colorless dreams, tamed visions,
worldly talking, cheap giving, or dwarfed goals. I no longer need
pre-eminence, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t
have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I
now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk with patience, am uplifted
by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my
goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are
few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought,
compromised detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch
in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary,
negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity,
or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let
up until I have stayed up, stored up and paid up for the cause of
CHRIST. I must go until he comes, give until I drop, preach until all
know and work until He stops me. And when he returns for his own, He’ll
have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear. I WILL NOT BE
You may not believe in what I believe, just please don't persecute what you know nothing about. I will make it my goal to put myself more out there, both in my community and on my blog. I can only pray that I have been the good example that the Lord would be proud of, and hopefully by doing this more walls can be brought down and the majority of the public out there won't think of us as a secretive people.
I am a SAHM of 5; Tobie, Miriam, Emma, Hannah and Charlotte. We live the military life through the Coast Guard. Semper Paratus! We love having the opportunity to explore this wonderful country of ours and make great new friends along the way.