Sunday, September 8, 2013

Love One Another

Disclaimer: This post is not to convince or persuade or convert the reader to support or join or even like the LDS church. I realize I have no power in changing a person or their beliefs, and that such a serious and personal decision lies only in the hands of the reader. I write this post merely to share with you my own reaction to some recent events, and explore topics that arise in the discussion or religion in general. If you find offense with me or with anything that I say, I sincerely apologize and hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me. 

After spending some time this evening reading under the comments section of an article centered around the LDS faith (an article which intent was to be silly and entertaining) it was once more brought to my attention the amount of animosity and hatred that is extend toward the church, filled with uneducated assumptions or twisted facts from those who either haven't taken the time to know, or once knew and fiercely misunderstood the basic concepts which are taught by the LDS church. I have a few things to say about this:

1. I am currently filled with a deep love and gratitude for my friends not of my faith who, throughout my life, have shown me and my beliefs the utmost respect. Granted, there have been disagreements, but most if not all of them were either resolved or put aside on the basis of maintaining a friendship. Thank you for not berating me and my faiths. Thank you for loving me regardless of what I choose to be and what I choose to put my faith in. I hope that you feel the same towards me. I hope you have never felt belittled by any comments I may have made. I am still young and still developing a complete understanding of my faith, therefore if my comments may have come across in an offensive manner due to my own misunderstanding, or my own lack of prowess as a 20-something on how to go about such a sensitive subject as religion (I am working very hard on this), I am so sorry you were hurt. I love all of my friends, regardless of what they choose to believe in (or, frankly choose to not believe in).

I want to take a minute here and explain something. Yes, I love my friends for who they are, and I always will. I cherish those who I associate with both on a daily and limited basis. This does not mean that I support all of their choices or agree with everything they say. This means that regardless of our differences I choose to maintain the friendship, acquaintanceship, etc. There is a difference in loving someone, and supporting all that they do. 

Please, if I have offended you in the past, forgive me. Something beautiful that I believe in, and that really anyone can believe in, LDS or not, is the power of change and growth. For me, as a member of the LDS church it comes through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Without Christ, without faith and hope in his cause and in his teachings, I know that I could not change. I know this because I have tried.

"It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ's Atonement shines"
-Elder Jeffery R. Holland
2. I love passionate people because I am a very passionate person myself, so I understand the reactions that are initiated within a passionate person when someone(s) disagree with something(s) you wholeheartedly believe in. So for that, I say if you have been offended by what my church has believed in the past, or does believe today, please, please, please step back from the emotion it may evoke within you and think. You may never understand why we believe or support or do what we do as LDS members, but know this: we are mostly a people bent on trying to better ourselves and the environments in which we live. Please give us the benefit of the doubt and remember that we are humans, just like you. We have feelings, just like you. We are trying, just like you to get through life in what we believe is the best way possible.

When you throw out assumptions you have created on whatever information you have gleaned that isn't based on reading through The Book of Mormon yourself, that isn't based on sitting in on church meetings and multiple classes taught be people who have studied these things for themselves, most of the time what you are saying is far from the truth. And what you are assuming hurts. It hurts that you think we hate those who don't believe as we do, it hurts that some of you base your friendships on whether or not someone is "Mormon", and it especially hurts that you think that we would ever encourage someone who isn't "living up to the standards" of the LDS church to take their life (a real comment I read).

For those of you who believe any of these things I have to say you are severely misinformed. And for those of you who have experienced LDS members who do support or proclaim to believe any of these things, I am so sorry that your experience with the LDS faith was so negative. I am so sorry that someone would either intentionally or even unintentionally hurt you. Sometimes, being that Mormons are in fact people too, someone in the LDS faith may say something based on their own personal biased rather than based on core church doctrine. Being a church that encourages personal scripture study and therefor personal interpretation of scripture, sometimes people may misunderstand or lace their interpretations with bias. Remember to take everything people say (LDS or not) with a grain of salt. We too, believe it or not, are imperfect.

The Temple is our most holy of buildings. Inside it we can feel closer to our Heavenly Father.
3. This is my final point. In regards to those who have sources from the internet refuting or berating the LDS church, please remember that it is the internet. There are many people out there who have made it their goal, for whatever reason, to take down the LDS church, and there are many false rumors that many people are quick to accept as fact.

You do not know what we believe if you do not take the chance to learn it. If you really want to know exactly what it is I believe or the LDS church believes, our leaders have gone through great strides to make sure that information is available to you in various ways. Here two popular ones:

If you feel uncomfortable with that answer, please feel free to talk to someone who is active in the LDS faith. Often talking to someone inactive or someone who has chosen to leave the LDS church will lead to information that is tainted by negativity. The only way to actually know what we believe is to either talk to someone active (like those pesky missionaries, or that coworker two cubicles away) or go study it yourself. 

Again, I am sorry if any have taken offense to what I have written. I also apologize for any grammar or spelling errors in the post being that it is now very late at night. If you spot one, or have something to say about anything mentioned in the post, please don't be rude (although I'm sure just me saying that will illicit some rude response because "why post on the internet if you don't expect some criticism".  I often forget that when we enter the world of the internet we give up our right to respect and compassion.)

My sweet little brother is going to be numbered among those missionaries in a month!
(A decision he could not be more excited about!)
I'm more than willing to answer any questions you have as well, although I cannot always guarantee an answer. As much as I would love to know every single detail about my faith, I do go to school full time as well as work. I will answer questions to the best of my ability, and if I cannot I will gladly direct you to a place that (hopefully) can. 

This also does not guarantee that you will like my answer. No matter how many times you try to tell me that religions is stupid, mormonism is hateful, or something else along those lines, I'm going to probably disagree with you. Because contrary to today's seemingly popular belief, I know that God lives, that his son came to this Earth to die for our sins, and that he loves each and every single one of you (whether you want him to or not)! 



  1. Bailey, this is very well written. You can be proud of this post.

  2. Well said, Bailey, and no need to apologize for who you are and what you believe. You are beautiful inside and out.

  3. What a great post.. From a great English major;). Xox

  4. It's a great feeling to both respect the woman you love, and love the woman you respect. I love and respect you Bailey.

  5. I love you Bailey my beautiful friend! Thanks for your incredible example and amazing talent to express great and personal beliefs.