First off how was my week?It was great I got teach a couple of lessons, and to help several people out. Despite what many might think, I am adjusting fine to the walking everywhere part of mission work (Thank you Disney World). My companion Elder Short and I are working hard to find people to teach. And I’m having fun playing sports with other missionaries (I know I’m shocked too). I’m still getting used to the inferior Apple iPad ™ and the lack of a keyboard. Despite my woes with the iPad I’m writing a really long message today so wish me luck.
Why is religion important?
To many people this might be a question they have asked at some point in their lives. And to many people the answer they believed in is—it isn’t. But I have asked this question before and I have gotten a very different answer—it is everything.
To better show my side, I would like to ask another question. What is the purpose of life? This is not a question that can be answered by science, entertainment, and really it can’t even be answered by philosophy. Ultimately the only thing that can fully answer this question is religion.
A great talk I watched recently was this this talk by Elder Holland entitled:
Many people today don’t follow a religion, and many who do don’t seem to practice it anymore. In fact, there is a lot of discrimination directed towards people of faith. A story from the Ensign I would like to share talks about two different people struggling with the same problem.
First, there is Nate, who recently got a great job and worked hard. He made lots of friends at work, and had a great time chatting with them. Eventually he was comfortable enough to tell his new friends at work that he was gay. Almost immediately everyone around him stopped talked to him and he felt more and more distant. He was eventually fired from his job despite being one of the best workers, the boss told him something to cover up the real reason he was fired. He knew he was fired because he was gay.
Then there is Samantha. She also recently got a great job and worked hard in it. But soon word got out that she was Mormon, and soon coworkers would take time out of their day to insult her religion. Every time she responded by saying it was what she believes and that she didn’t want to fight over it. But still her fellow coworkers constantly ridiculed her beliefs, her way of life. It got so bad she had to quit her job.
What is the difference between these stories? One is discriminated against because he is gay; the other is discriminated against because she is Mormon. Actually, Samantha faced more open and more relentless opposition. Nevertheless, both of these cases are unacceptable and shouldn’t happen. But the sad thing is that this does happens.
We need more respect in our world. The main issue is that people judge others without fully understanding what the other believes in. I really doubt that anybody who is reading this, that isn’t a member of the Mormon church, understands a fraction of what we as Mormons believe in. And likewise, Mormons probably don’t know what others really believe in either.
Many might justify discrimination against others by saying that they feel like others are pushing their beliefs on them. But as Mormons we share our religion because it makes us happy. We don’t share to increase our membership, or because we gain a reward for sharing the gospel of our savior Jesus Christ. It is because we have people we love and we want them to be have the same happiness that we have found.
Religion has brought me great happiness, and I hope it can bring others the same happiness it has brought me.
Regards from North Ogden East area of the Utah Logan Mission.