how are you? how was your weekend?
we had a really great weekend - a little BBQ with friends that we haven't seen for a couple years, some hanging out, some shopping, etc. etc. a great weekend.
we also spoke in church yesterday. "spoke in church" in LDS lingo = members of our congregation are invited to study a gospel topic and then give a talk on it to the entire congregation. darek and i were asked to speak and we were given the 11th article of faith as our topic. the articles of faith are a 13 verses that summarize what the LDS church believes and can be found HERE
so anyway, we spoke on the 11th article of faith which says:
"we claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where and what they may."
i spoke primarily on tolerance and diversity, loving and accepting everyone even if they have different beliefs than our own, and learning from our differences instead of being judgmental and critical. darek spoke mostly on the freedoms of our country and how grateful we are to have the religious freedom this country allows. our talks we really well received, perhaps because of the anniversary of 9/11 this last week or the idiot who wanted to have a Qur'an burning party (i know he has the right to freedom of speech, etc. but i think it shows incredibly poor judgment and is very violence-promoting instead of peace-inducing...i could go on, but i'll step off my soapbox now before i cause trouble...)
anyway - a couple of my favorite quotes from our talks:
"our doctrine is one of inclusion [not exclusion]. that is what we believe. of all the people on this earth, we should be the most loving, the kindest and the most tolerant because of that doctrine. our pioneer ancestors were driven from place to place by uninformed and intolerant neighbors. they experienced extraordinary hardship and persecution because they thought, acted and believed differently from others. if our history teaches us nothing else, it should teach us to respect the rights of all people to peacefully coexist with one another."
~ Elder M. Russell Ballard
this one was from darek's talk and was also great!
from Abraham Lincoln
"we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. but we have forgotten God. we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of their own. intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!"
anyway - i was really grateful for the chance to study this topic this last week. i feel deeply grateful for our religious freedoms and hopeful that we will be a tolerant, peace-promoting people.
have a happy day!