Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Other Christians

One of the moments when I am inclined to make a controversial comment in Sunday School is when the teacher or another class member makes a sweeping and/or patronizing statement about the superiority of Mormons over members of any other church.  Living in the “bible belt” for 17 years and associating frequently with other faithful Christians was a revelation to me—it was the first time as an adult that I realized that, despite having less revealed truth than I did, many of these people were living their lives in a way that brought them closer to Christ and closer to the spirit than I was. 

Yesterday I got in the car to drive to the airport and the first thing I heard when I turned on the Christian radio station was the host, reminding people to pray for everyone in Oklahoma.  I admit that was a little confused—I’d been too busy holding baby Kate all day to know anything about Oklahoma.  But I was also so impressed, especially as he read a request from Twitter to be sure to pray for the first responders.  I figured whatever had happened had been bad.  Then he went on to say that he found comfort in Isaiah 41:

…do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I was so touched by the talk of prayer.  I don’t think we do a good job of that as Mormons.  I don’t think we talk about praying for each other very well, and I don’t think we talk about supporting people in distant crises through prayer.  I was grateful for the suggestion that I could add my prayers for whatever terrible thing had just happened.

Later I sat on the airplane by a beautiful young woman who told me that she was coming to Oregon for a visit after having moved to Charlotte and then Pennsylvania.  (We agreed about the merits of the warm Atlantic ocean.)  She, her husband, and son walked off of the plane and  into the airport just in front of me.  As I turned to my right to go towards baggage claim I saw her husband catch her hand and pull her off to the side, saying, “Let’s thank the Lord for a good trip.” 

That was another humbling moment.  Yes, when we take a big car trip we always start with a prayer asking for God’s protection on our way.  But how often do we forget to acknowledge and give thanks for our safe trip when we are done?  And have I ever thought to thank the Lord when I’ve arrived safely after flying?  I do not think so, but I am committed to trying to do better.

So thank you, my Christian friends, for the excellent examples that you were to me yesterday.  I hope that sometimes people of other faiths find things to admire in the Mormon church, things worthy of emulation.  Because I certainly appreciate the good I see in yours.


  1. Remember that time I was 6 months pregnant with Marley and I drove to my mom's alone with the boys and my cell phone had broken and the tire came off the car in the middle of 95? After I had pulled over and was trying to look as pitiful as I could while hauling the spare tire out and praying that I wouldn't actually have to put it on the car myself, a man and his wife pulled over, he changed the tire, she let me use her phone to call my mom, and then the asked if they could pray for me. I will never forget that prayer. It was so different sounding from the way we usually pray in our church, and I loved it.

  2. I think coming into the church and not being raised into really makes me see things different. I have always thought as long as people are living and trying to do best by God I am not judging a thing. It isn't my place Yes, that is very simplistic.