I have family members and good friends and loved acquaintances of a HUGE variety of religions, beliefs, orientations, understandings, etc. etc. I genuinely love, delight in, accept and learn from and love learning about all of you. If you are a kind person and are interested in my friendship you have it. There are many who aren't interested in my friendship that have it anyway. And that doesn't or shouldn't make me an oddity of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It makes me really good at it. I find it sad and a bit frustrating that because I love gay people, have a genuine love for a variety of religions, respect those that can't find or don't believe in religion at all, am friends with people that drink and smoke and swear as WELL as people who don't there are members of the religion I belong to that shun me, speak ill of me and aren't interested in getting to know me. I also find it sad that because of the fact that I am LDS, people that I love won't associate with me.
I. LOVE. PEOPLE.
I am TIRED of the anger and the judgements and the ignorance we force on one another. I genuinely believe there is SO much goodness out there and SO much love to be given and had. An endless amount in fact. Not everyone is going to click. We're not all going to be best friends that can't wait to spend good amounts of time with one another and can truly trust and count on for the important things. BUT, we certainly CAN find a genuine appreciation for one another. We can delight in our differences and learn more about ourselves from the people around us no matter what our ideas about how we should or want to live are. If you are someone that is interested in being seen as a someone worth loving, and if you are someone that doesn't know you are because of the amount of pain that you're having to deal with right now, I'm here to tell you that you have love and acceptance, at least from me.
I have been torn down because I don't give the first discussion to everyone I meet. I have been torn down because I don't affiliate myself with any singular political party. I have been torn down simply because of what I wear or don't wear. I've been torn down for being and living what I feel my religion teaches. I've been torn down for appearing not to cater to someone else's idea of how I should live my religion.
For crying out loud, where is your peace if you're doing that?! If you believe in a higher power that leads to the source of all love how does it make sense that you would shun another because of appearance, religion, belief, orientation, race, and so on. Our time would be better spent building one another up and finding the good and the love and at the very minimum respect for our differences instead of wasting precious energy being so angry and bitter. If you're so stinkin angry at the world, at Mormons, at Muslims, Catholics, GLB, Atheists, Latino(a)s, Africans, Native Americans, Islanders, Jews, Caucasians, Democrats, Republicans, Doctors, Farmers, Gas station attendants, Zombies, etc. etc. go get to know one of them. Sit an afternoon with one and get to know their story. You don't HAVE to agree with someone to respect where they're at in their journey.(except maybe the zombie. I'm not interested in your flesh being consumed, that wouldn't serve a purpose I can think of. Sorry if you're a zombie and I've offended or snap judged.) You don't even have to want to be around them or be their friend, but I can promise you you'll feel a whole heck of a lot better understanding them and getting on with your life without all the bitterness and fear.