There Is Always A Place For You
Dec 26, 2021
I wanted to tell you a part of my life most of you may not know. Funny how I decided to share this when the "Come Follow Me" for this week is section 132 (I didn't plan that but only felt prompted I needed to share). I haven't shared it with many as this is a part of my life where I have felt alone, judged, and like a second citizen.
I am a very faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. However, many of you might not know that I am a convert to the church. There was a time when I could not get baptized to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint. No matter how much I wanted to, I was told NO! Not by my parents but by the church. Because of the policies that were and still are in place, kids from a polygamist family have many guidelines they have to meet to get baptized. Remember the policies the church made recently with children who came from same-sex couples? The children were not able to get baptized until they were 18 and out of the house. These were the same policies for polygamist children. They recently changed it for same-sex couples, and from what I know, I could be wrong; the policies for polygamist kids are still in place.
Because of how I grew up, my life was drastically different than others. We weren't like the others on the block. A sad welcoming to the neighborhood was when my parents were excommunicated from being members of the church. This was a hard time for our family because we felt like we lived in a place we didn't belong. Some people even told us we couldn't play at their house (I guess we had too many cuties). Unfortunately, some also told me I didn't belong at church (but kids can be kids). Because of the policies, I wasn't able to participate in church fully. I always had this looming feeling over me that I was not like the rest.
I couldn't go any further without acknowledging those who still loved us, whether we were purple, green, or yellow. There are so many kind people out there! Thank you! Because of your actions, we did feel loved. You can even find some of my life stories that I discuss on my podcast "Bring The Light."
Because of my experience, if there are people who are different, have different ideas, policies, or guidelines that might be in place, we should always look to see how we can love exceptionally. How can we help others feel included even if they have different views? How can we help others feel welcome even if there are policies in place? How can we bring others to God's love? How can we look past differences and love? How can we "Love one another"?
I talked to my son Brax who is serving his mission in Arizona (But just left to Columbia!) He spoke to the High Councilman of the ward he was serving in. He shared that many members are not coming to church anymore after …(a word I can't mention otherwise, I'll get a big XXX under my post). Church members attending their ward have dropped dramatically because of the policies, guidelines, and restrictions that have been put in place. We need to ask ourselves, no matter what policy, guidelines, or differences, how can we help others feel loved and welcomed? I have been in the place of feeling like I didn't belong, and I'll tell you what, it's not fun! Everyone that walks in those doors should only feel the love of Jesus Christ.
Some may think I am crazy, but often I have dreams that give me much insight into my life. In the summer, I dreamed that people at church were being separated into two groups, if they got it... and if they didn't.... There was a lot of contention between the 2 groups. President Eyring had to come over to help settle things down. There was more to my dream, but I don't think I will share it at this time. As tension rises and it feels like we are being separated into two, we will only get through this by uniting and understanding that we are all on God's side! We need each other. I need you, and you need me!
There was a man at our house the other day fixing our heater. He attended his church conference. Because of the spoken words at the meeting, he wanted to walk out because he felt like he didn't belong. Do we want to push people away from church because they don't think like us? Loving our neighbor is different for everyone but loving our neighbor is loving them even when we feel differently. Everyone should feel like they have a place! I judge way too much, and I, too, need to be a little better! So often, I think of my dream and think. Am I putting people in 2 camps, or am I looking past differences and seeing them for who they are?!?!"
I tell you my story because I often felt that there wasn't a place for me in the church because, as a child, I too didn't fit a specific mold, criteria, or policy. Sometime I even start to feel I don't fit a particular mold and wonder if there is a place for me. So many of you out there feel the same. I know this because many people have shared their broken hearts with me. But I want you to know that there is a place for you! Even if you think differently, there is a place for you! Even if people say or do stupid things, there is a place for you (we have all made mistakes). If people start to separate you and put you in 2 camps, rememberer no matter what side you are on, God is always on both, so there is a place for you.
I don't have the answers to how to love people fully, but God does. He can show us if we humbly listen. Our core foundation of the Gospel is that we are a child of God, and he loves us, and we are here to share the light of Christ with others. So the best thing we can do is listen to the spirit and let him teach us. I hope you know, no matter how you think, feel, or act, there is always a place for you!