|Boise Idaho Temple|
I'm going to go off on a little bit of a rant here, but it will be made relevant, I promise.
So I'm sitting in my New Testament class this morning listening to my professor go off on one of his tangents--this particular one is about his being from Idaho. He talks about the way some of his colleagues in other places have told him that he can't possibly have learned what he knows now if he is truly from Idaho, which some people apparently think is a podunk rural place where people live in sod huts on potato farms and ride horses to the country school to "get them some learnin.'"
Boise, a lot of their misconceptions would be cleared up in a hurry. Yes, we even have a university! Which is affordable enough that a lot of people from Idaho can go there and enter the realm of higher education! Amazing, isn't it??
|Actual picture of part of Boise State University. Please note the cars, rather than horses, in the foreground.|
So, after blowing off a little steam, I started thinking with a cooler head. There really isn't a good reason to be offended because of misconceptions people have about us; learning about them gives us the opportunity to clear things up, and they, in turn, can enlighten other people. The same principle applies to us as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I guess the point here is that with the nearly limitless amount of information and means of sharing that information that we have available, there is no reason for people to be unable to find the truth about us if they take the time to look. The Church has taken advantage of diverse forms of media in order to spread the gospel message, and we can help through our own efforts. Making a profile on Mormon.org is a fairly simple way to share the gospel, and sharing things of a spiritual nature seems to be less intimidating sometimes writing on Facebook or a blog rather than face-to-face.
I have a very dear friend who is devoutly Catholic, and due to my interaction with her I have come to realize the value of going to the source to find the truth of what people believe. Want to know what Catholics believe? Ask a Catholic. Want to know what Mormons believe? Ask a Mormon. If they don't know the answer to a question, they can find someone who does. If we as Mormons wish to be understood and want people to come to us to learn about our beliefs, in accordance with the ethic of civility we must extend to others that same courtesy and have the courage to go to them, rather than to other sources, to find the truth.