I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, yes, I’m a Mormon, and I’m proud of it. But today I’m sad. People in the church have broken my heart. My testimony does not falter, for I know the church is true, and that we are mere humans–making mistakes along our way. What I am speaking of is the harsh judgments between ward family members.
I plead with the young women…to love people into the Gospel. Am I asking you to lower your standards? No. Am I asking you to turn from your dreams or goals? No. What I am asking is for you to stop judging and have a Christ-like attitude. There are so many youth whose testimonies are at a fragile point. A mere comment or judgment can turn hearts away from the Gospel for years.
I went to the Women’s General Broadcast last night and something struck a chord as to what I believe. It was said that one simply cannot be Christian if they are being judgmental. It may seem like a harsh statement, but I certainly believe it to be true.
Let me tell you where I am coming from. As a mother of a son, whom I love dearly, a few years ago he was living near BYU Idaho and had some good LDS friends who were his roommates. My son was not going to college at the time, but was preparing to do so. He had his struggles with going to church regularly, to which I attributed to being a bit lazy, as teenagers often can be.
Soon enough he was included in a few outings with his guy roommates and a group of girls. He was having fun. He even started going back to church! When he told me this I was thrilled! This is what my heart desired more than anything. For him to find some common ground with other Latter Day Saints and this would help lift his self esteem, get him excited to be involved with a good group of kids, and become more active in the church.
But do you know what happened next? What could have turned into a wonderful thing came crashing down very quickly due to judgment and criticism. My son called me one day and said that this group of girls at BYU told the guys he roomed with that they thought he was a “bad Mormon” because he missed church one Sunday. Because of this they decided to exclude him from all of their activities. The invites stopped and he felt very alone and completely discriminated against.
He told me he didn’t want to be a part of a church that was so critical of others. A church that didn’t love unconditionally, furthermore how could a church like this be true? Why would he want to go somewhere where he was made to feel badly about himself, where he wasn’t appreciated? This broke my heart, because this is NOT what the LDS church is like, it is NOT what we stand for, and it is NOT the way we should behave.
One could point out the fact that if my son were to have had a stronger testimony this would not have happened. True. But he didn’t. He was wavering. He was being tested and tried. But my point here is that simple acceptance and kindness could have made all the difference in the world. That what could have turned into a beautiful missionary moment for these girls did not. So I have to say it. Shame on you BYU Idaho girls (and you know if you fit in this category). Wouldn’t it be wonderful and the world be a much better place if instead of judging people away from the Gospel that we loved them in? Is this not what Christ would have done? I think so.