Monthly Archives: April 2016

Guest Stand: The Compassion Deception

compassion

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

― Alexander Pope

Often members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) are confronted by the label of intolerance. LDS faithful are often condemned for a perceived lack of compassion toward lifestyles contrary to the LDS belief system. This confrontation is the “compassion deception”.

To be compassionate is to feel for someone, to suffer with them, show sympathy, pity and mercy for another. Cultivating this sense of compassion and kindness for all beings is noble and great.  We love the sinner and hate the sin. But showing over-tolerance on social issues can make us devoid of moral convictions. Continue reading

Boundaries or Betrayal?

fashion-person-woman-hand-largeEvery year it seems, my mobile phone becomes antiquated and “old.” It might still work for me, but there is always a newer and better version that the phone carrier wants to talk me into.  It might have a bigger screen, better camera, or maybe more memory.  The old phone works, but the new phone is better, faster, easier to use.  The mobile company never tries to deceive me into keeping my old phone, hiding the new and improved one away for only itself.  It actually invites me to try the latest phone, telling me how much more I can do with it and what a wonderful tool it is.

When I think of the first smartphone I had, a BlackBerry that I loved, it was only 7 years ago.  That phone, now 7 years later, is a relic.  My smartphone is now a computer.  I never use my laptop anymore because my phone can do everything.  I design artwork on my phone.  I do banking and email.  I write for my blog.  I do family history work.  I buy books and clothes online.  I make hotel and airline reservations.  I check the weather and road conditions.  I get Twitter feed from the International Space Station.  Why would I want the old phone that only did email and text?

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Boundaries are both natural phenomena and man-made, set by men and by nature. A river draws a boundary and so does a cliff.  A steep canyon creates a boundary, and so does the sea.  One might be careful to think about crossing both.  We place fences around our properties to keep children and pets in and other children and pets out.  We place cattle guards on busy road crossings to protect cows and people.  Homes have thresholds and locks on doors.  Elevator doors close to protect people from falling to their deaths during the trip up a high-rise.  Even people have boundaries and carefully guard their personal space. Continue reading

Refugees: “What If Their Story Were My Story?”

refugees women's session ldsAs I sat in the congregation of the Conference Center, waiting for the women’s general session of General Conference to start, I was overwhelmed with the Spirit and with gratitude. My friend from Mormon Women Stand, Kathryn Skaggs, came from out of state to attend and offered tickets to me and my daughter.  It was a wonderful time to finally meet her face to face and to bask in the counsel we were about to receive from Church leaders.  I was amazed at how beautiful the pink flowers were and the pink and red lights illuminating the area behind the angelic choir.  I was humbled as I watched scores of women and girls of all ages gather together for this historic meeting, in such a beautiful building.  I knew in my heart we were all in for a magnificent feast and I was not disappointed.

The choir sang and I was overcome by the love that I felt for my beautiful daughter who I have known for her entire life, and also for my new friend, Kathryn, after having met her just moments earlier. As the choir sang, “I am a Child of God” and “Love One Another,” I could not keep the tears from falling.  Surrounded by faithful and radiating women and girls, Daughters of the Most High God, I felt love for them.  One by one, the speakers touched my spirit and even pricked my heart.  I felt myself being gently called to repentance while simultaneously being inspired and lifted with new ideas and generous thoughts.  I knew that the words I was hearing were inspired and I knew they were true.  Each testimony, each video, each song, pierced my soul. Continue reading