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, or what they may. (AofF 1:11)
One of the privileges of living is getting to know all kinds of people with all kinds of beliefs. If we all did the same things, thought the same things, and believed the same things, the world would be incredibly boring. Instead, we get to explore, learn, think, and do according to our own convictions.
The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole. - Joseph B. Wirthlin
The key to believing and being whatever we choose is allowing others to do the same.
Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too. - VoltaireSo, believe and live as you see fit, and I will respect that and you. But do take the opportunities you have to learn about other peoples, religions, and ways of life. It may not change your own mind, but it will at least expand it.
Last night, Mormon Choir sang with the Alfred Street Baptist Church Senior Choir and special guest Alex Boyé. In celebration of Black History Month, we sang a selection of spirituals together, celebrating a shared belief of Jesus as our Savior and of a God in heaven. We may not have all believed exactly the same doctrines, but the spirit and joy and music we shared made that concert my personal favorite to date.
I've had similar experiences with people of many other backgrounds and faiths. Finding common ground and respecting the differences has given me wonderful relationships and memories. It takes patience and an open mind, but it's been so worth it.
This is the reason I write these posts every week - to give you another opportunity to know what makes me and others of my faith tick. Thank you for reading and commenting.
And most importantly, thank you for believing what you believe and being the fascinating person you are!