The idea to add this page to my blog has come over and over and over again.
I kept putting it off because I worry that somehow I'll be misunderstood or I won't say things the "right" way.
But I've finally decided that I need to go ahead and share what's in my heart the best way I know how.
The basic idea is that I love my religion, and I want to share it with anyone who might be interested in learning more.
But I know that religious discussions can feel uncomfortable to a lot of people, and the last thing I want is for someone to feel awkward around me. You know what that's like--when you have to pretend you haven't read something or seen something, or maybe you simply don't know what to say, so you just don't say anything, and then the person wonders why you're so quiet? That's not fun for anyone.
So instead, I'm just going to share a few things I'd like you to know, and then we'll both know it's out there, and I won't worry if you don't say anything, and you won't worry that I'm wondering what you're thinking, and we can just keep being friends. No awkwardness, okay?
Here we go:
(1) I know that God works through people from all different backgrounds.
My neighbors on one side are Catholic. My neighbors on the other side are Muslim. My best friends growing up were Jewish and atheist. I adore all of them.
I was raised in a home where everyone's name was safe--regardless of differences in religion, politics, moral standards, etc. I love that, and I am raising my children the exact same way. Although I have absolute faith in the God I worship and the church to which I belong, I recognize that not everyone agrees with me . . . and that's okay. Goodness in the world comes through lots of different sources, and I believe God does His work beautifully--using all of us.
(2) I love my church.
I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the "Mormons") for my entire life, and I am so incredibly grateful for it.
I love what I learn about God and His Son Jesus Christ. I love the focus on families being together forever. I love the Spirit that's in our home and the way our lives work when we apply the principles of this restored gospel. I love the peace, happiness, and hope I feel when I pray, study the scriptures, and worship in our church buildings or in our holy temples. There is sweetness and joy in my life each and every day--and this is why.
(3) If anyone reading this would like to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my standing offer is that you are welcome to learn through me.
When our family wanted to learn more about our Catholic neighbors, we attended their daughter's First Communion. When we wanted to learn more about our Muslim neighbors, we attended the Open House at their mosque. Those were both beautiful events, and our friendship and respect grew stronger. I think they were glad to know we cared, and we enjoyed learning about other religions--from people who are actually believing members.
So for those of you who live in my area, you are 100% invited to attend church with us. And if you want to sit and talk and ask questions, we'd love to invite you and your family into our home where you can meet with the missionaries, whose full-time job it is to teach and serve and share. (You can email me at april (at) powerofmoms.com for more information.) There's zero pressure associated with this. It's just a chance for you to find out about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for yourself.
For those of you who live far from me, if you will send me your mailing address (also to april (at) powerofmoms.com), I will personally send you a handwritten note and a copy of The Book of Mormon, which is a companion to the Bible and another testament of Jesus Christ.
And, of course, no matter where you live, you are welcome to visit the Official Websites for the Church, where you can learn lots of great information at your own pace--and from the comfort of your own home.:
I recommend you start here, at www.mormon.org.
Then I think you'll also want to visit www.lds.org.
I appreciate you visiting this blog, Power of a Family, and I'm grateful for your friendship. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or comments. I think there is so much power in having an open dialogue about religion, and it means the world to me to get to share this most precious part of my life.