As most of you know, I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS, or Mormon. You may or may not know about the Mormons, and if you do, you may or may not have an opinion about them (us). The LDS religion is a newer religion, and we believe and claim to have the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the Earth. That can be a hard pill for some people to swallow, which I complete understand. We are also, as many Christian religions are, quite conservative, and members can be quite outspoken about their beliefs against moral issues such as homosexuality and abortion, among others. This often leads to hurt feelings, offense, and others feeling like all Mormons are judgmental.
This breaks my heart for a myriad of reasons. A couple of them are — One, that I believe that, in general, all members of my faith are not trying to be judgmental, even if their poor word choice says otherwise. I believe that they truly are doing the best they can, to follow our Prophet, and live the Gospel as they believe it, and truly do what to emulate Christ. Two, because no matter what “side” you are on, there is hurt, and there can be hurtful words said, and all I really want is for everyone to come to know Christ, and believe in Him and His magnificent gift.
I personally try my hardest every day to be like my Savior, and to bring others to Him. I love Him, and so I share Him. I also try my hardest to show love to all of God’s children, no matter what religion, race, sexual preference, or any other differences. Am I perfect? Of course not. None of us are perfect, but I do try.
As I was pondering this a while ago, I ended up posting the following on my personal facebook account. I needed to say something about what I was thinking and feeling, and this is what I ended up with:
Here’s the thing. I have a testimony that the LDS Church is true. I have a testimony that Joseph Smith did see Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. I have a testimony that those who lead our church are called of God. I have a testimony that Jesus is my Savior. I have a testimony that I am a daughter of God with infinite worth.
I found out all of this for myself. I did not follow blindly. I am not brainwashed.
I prayed and searched and received personal revelation about these things.
But here’s the other thing.
If you don’t think the church is for you, that’s ok.
I still want to be your friend.
Because I still love you.
And I want you to be happy.
For me, happiness comes through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through being a member of the LDS Church.
Happiness might not look like that for you.
And that’s ok with me.
And while we’re here, talking. I just want to tell you that I love gay people. In fact, my dad is gay! I went to his wedding! It was awesome! Also don’t care if you drink coffee (because let’s be honest, it’s delicious), or if you drink alcohol, or if you wear short shorts. I also think you should know that I love a good thriller. And that I don’t necessarily identify as republican. Oh, and also? I wanted to get married, and so I did. I just happened to be 20 years old. And yes, that’s young, but no, I didn’t feel like I had to get married before I graduated college or I would be an old maid forever (LOL). I fell in love, and so I got married. End of story.
I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. We’ll all figuring out life. And since we’re not the same person, we’re all figuring out things in our own ways. And that’s ok. My path does not look like your path, not should it.
I’m going to continue to share my testimony of my Savior, and of the Church, because I am not ashamed of it. Because I have worked to receive that testimony. And it brings me happiness. So I will share it.
I share it because i love it.
But if you don’t love it, if it doesn’t bring you happiness, that’s ok.
I’m not mad. I’m not sad. I’m not disappointed.
I’m not anything.
Except your friend.
I’m still your friend.
And I love you.
And I hope you still love me, too.
You do you, friend, you do you. And I’ll do me, too.
I share the Gospel because it brings me joy, and I want that joy for you, too. But if it doesn’t bring you joy, that’s ok! I’m not upset, like I mentioned above. I still want to be friends, I still love you, I still want you to be happy.
Again, I’m not perfect at showing my love, or being non-judgmental, but I am truly, truly trying.
If you left the Church, that’s ok. If you just started coming to Church, that’s ok.
And I hope you see that in me. I really do. Because I am trying to be like my Savior. Each day I try a little harder to be a little better. I try a little harder to act like Christ would, to serve like He would, to speak like He would, in order to lead others to Him. And each day I like to think I am progressing, even if it’s just the smallest, tiniest bit.
Friends, in closing, I just want you to know that I love my Savior, for He truly is the Savior of the World. He is my Savior and He is yours, too. He knows you, He loves you, and He wants nothing more than for you to come to know Him. He is truly the Son of God, and He did atone for my sins and my weaknesses and my mistakes and my pains and my heartaches. And He atoned for yours, too. I know this. I do. And I hope that you come to know this, too. Because no matter what you believe, what religion you belong to, if you follow Him, He will lead you, He will strengthen you, and He will not leave you comfortless in what can be a cold and harsh and painful world. He will bind up your hearts and your brokenness and make you whole again. He will and He can. I testify of this, in His name, Amen.
Read more about my testimony of Jesus Christ here.
If you’d like to read my own posts about what the LDS Church believes in click here and you’ll be directed to all of the posts in my LDS Faith and Beliefs series.
If you have any questions for me, please email me at brittannyhanson (at) gmail (dot) com or feel free to leave a comment below.