humbling truths

Sunday, June 1, 2014

hey folks! long time no type... sorry about that. i guess i've actually sort of had a life as of recent! that's very good news, haha. a LOT of things have happened in the last little while. i graduated high school, my friends are having their farewells and leaving to foreign places for 2 years, everyone is off to college, some friends are even getting engaged! whoa, right? this is such an insane stage of life that i'm in right now. i'll post plenty about my future plans, but those are posts for another day. today, i want to discuss and emphasize some things i have observed lately and my thoughts about them. so i'll start here with a little story.

****firstly, i would like to plainly state that i love my religion. it has helped me over many bumps in the road that i couldn't have even attempted without it. my faith does not waver; it is as simple as that. i do not by any means wish to shame members of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints because HECK I am one, and a proud one at that. none of us are perfect, and that is being spoken through extremely imperfect lips. i love my religion, i truly do.****

okay HERE'S my story now. :)

last week was the last week of school. we had a day dedicated to signing yearbooks and bidding farewell to the people and teachers you'd actually miss. a friend of mine, sweetest boy in the galaxy, swapped yearbooks with me so we could sign each other's. i opened his and while skimming the book sleeves for a place to sign it, i saw a distinct message written in his book. it said something along the lines of:
"you're a great guy! best wishes for you in the future! GET BAPTIZED!"

surely, this caught my attention. 
here stood this boy, sweet as honey, humble as a button. he is not LDS, which is probably hard when living in a cozy, religion-based college town. my heart immediately throbbed for this boy. how hard it must be to feel that pressure. often times in the church, we talk about the pressure we feel with people who don't have the same standards as us. we may feel pressure by our peers at times to drink, to lie, to steal, to do things that we simply do not believe is right. but in this moment, looking at that yearbook page, i was seeing this town through different eyes. this boy probably has a religion he practices. no it is not LDS, but maybe it is something that he loves. mormonism wasn't a BAD thing to him, but it just wasn't what he believed and here he was, being pressured to convert to the church. to me, that was a very considerable opposition.

i didn't see who wrote this in the yearbook. i didn't care to look, because i know in my heart that this person probably meant no harm and had good intentions. but this experience did get me thinking...

what do we strive to be? what is the one thing we all are working toward every single sunday when we attend church? when we go to seminary? when we repent with humble hearts (because we are only human, mistakes will be made and that is a guarantee)? 

we all want to be Christ-like.

Jesus was an amazing man. he performed miracles, he healed the sick, gave strength to the weak. he served others before himself, he was brutally crucified in front of thousands for our souls. he is so incredibly loving, compassionate, merciful.
but i think there is one thing that tends to blend into the background of the things we talk about when we talk about our Savior.


The girl who sits in your seminary class and memorizes every single scripture and shares her testimony every single class? Jesus loves her.
Your next door neighbors who had his mission call as soon as he could, who lived worthily his whole life and can't wait to serve his Savior for 2 years? Jesus loves him.
but this is where the truly remarkable things happen, and where Christ's characteristics should really be applied to our personal lives...
The man you read about in the paper who robbed the gas station with a gun? Yeah, Jesus loves him.
That woman who you see walking around downtown, begging for money because drugs control her life? Jesus loves her, too.

missionary work is such an incredible thing. conversion is an amazing process and i truly believe the gospel is true in all it's forms. but some people, even after missionary lessons, just do not share the beliefs that we do. AND THAT IS OK. or at least, it should be.
Jesus Christ, who died for us all, knows that people do not believe in Him. but He loves them regardless. He knows that some of His sons and daughters do not go on missions. He knows that it's just not right for some of His children to leave for 1.5-2 years. He knows that some of His sons and daughters don't even believe that He exists, and he loves them no less than people who are going on full time missions, paying full tithes, or serving as a bishop.

acceptance is an interesting concept. it's not "turning the other cheek" to the kid in your math class who isn't the same religion as you. it's understanding and loving them, because they are people. and if it is Christ-like that we all endeavoring, acceptance for all people of all forms should be at the top of our lists... and this all goes for myself included! we all need to be better. no one is going to be 100% Christ-like on earth. but we're all taking baby steps and  i think acceptance is a very big baby step :)

sorry for rambling, guys...
just so many thoughts in this stage of life! people going on missions, feeling pressure to go to certain colleges, it's crazy stuff goin' on here in Provo, Utah. crazy crazy stuff.
life is crazy. but it's good if you let it be.
goodnight kids and cats!
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