Monday, October 8, 2012

The Pachyderm Within The Chamber

I definitely had an inner debate over whether or not to write this post. However, I felt that to just go on with a normal weekly post after last week’s fiasco adventure would be to ignore the elephant in the room. So let’s address a few of those burning embers and put this fire out for now.

First, thanks to those of you who took the time to articulate your beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, regardless of whether or not they agreed with mine. For those of you who took offense at my post, please understand that Mormon Mommy Writers has just over 400 followers, most of whom are Mormons, moms, and writers (hence the name). We address all topics connected with those 3 areas of our lives. It is not intended as a social or political forum. We do, however, try to share our beliefs when appropriate or when inspired to do so.

With that said, the purpose of last week’s post was not for me to stand on a soapbox with a political or social commentary. I apologize if that is how it came across. I had just had a nice experience and I wanted to share with my friends- because I consider those who write on this blog and follow it to be my friends. I was not looking to incite a heated debate by any means. I was simply sharing how I felt and how I believed. As a result of last week’s post, I am reminded that words have power, and that I need to choose them carefully when describing my beliefs.

As I stated, I truly appreciate the efforts many of you made to clearly share your thoughts on a sensitive subject in a civil and appropriate manner. I welcome an open and thoughtful discussion, as it helps me to better understand those who may believe differently from me. Unfortunately, however, there were a few last week who crossed a line between constructive criticism and verbal attacks. When you explain your point of view, I may not be persuaded to agree with you, but at least I can begin to understand you. If, however, you disguise your opinion with verbal attacks, then your anger speaks much louder than your message and I am unable to hear what you mean.

For example, let’s say I ask a friend to hang a picture for me they hang it crookedly. I could call them an idiot, but would that cause them to straighten the picture? Of course not! Nor does it invite discussion of the problem, because I have told them nothing helpful. All they have learned from my verbal attack is that I am angry and I don’t know how to communicate my point of view.

I would encourage all of us to remember this, especially during this highly charged political season. Perhaps remember the acronym, “THINK”: Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Interesting? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind? THINK before you speak (or type).

To be clear, I don’t back down from what I believe, but I choose not to fight. As I stated in the “Update” on the post last week, I do not feel that this blog should be a battleground. I closed the comments because I felt all sides had sufficiently stated their points and to continue the discussion would be unproductive and only invite further contention. I did not, however, delete any of the comments made, because I know that no matter how flat you make a pancake, it still has two sides. I acknowledge that, and I will not invite further criticism by censoring comments that disagree with mine. I will, however, invite you to take the discussion elsewhere. I am just one contributor to this blog and it is not fair for me to turn it into a war zone.

As for the topic of my last post, I will not argue semantics with you, but I will concede that men have the priesthood and women do not. Why? I don’t know, but I believe in God and I believe my church is under His direction and that He knows what I- and all women and men- need to grow and develop spiritually in the way that is right for us. That is enough for me. As Elder Marcus B. Nash of the LDS church said in our churchwide conference yesterday,

‎"Faith and reason are like two wings of an aircraft. Both are essential to maintain flight. If from your perspective reason seems to contradict faith- and remember that our perspective is extremely limited compared with the Lord’s- do not discard faith any more than you would detach a wing from an aircraft in flight. Instead, nurture a particle of faith and permit the hope it produces to be an anchor to your soul, and to your reason."

 There are many of you who do not believe the LDS church is under God’s direction- you do not have faith in it as I do, and so I can understand and respect your feelings. To you I say that I love you and you are free to worship how you choose, I simply ask that you respect me and my beliefs in return.

Finally, the women of the LDS church are intelligent, capable individuals, and we participate in our faith with open eyes. We agree on the important issues and we disagree on others. Regardless, we thoughtfully and prayerfully choose the way we believe, and we hope you would respect that, even if you don’t agree with it.

Again, I have closed the comments section for this post in order to preserve peace on the blog. Thank you for taking the time to visit today and I hope we can all move on!


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