If you have children, or have ever interacted with them, then you know that they don’t always make sense. I am not talking about when they instantly slip into some imaginary role of a superhero or princess or doctor or dinosaur. Those things actually do make sense in an imaginary way. What is most confusing to me is how so often siblings growing up in the same home, with the same parents, same teachers, same church, same foods, same everything, can look at life and respond to it so differently. I’m not even talking about “good and bad”, but just different.
I suppose we just have to remember that they are individuals, and enjoy that about them. And of course we need, as parents and fellow church members, to get to know them individually and to understand them. I have always believed that this is the highest honor you can pay to a child. They need and want the adults in their lives to care enough about them to pay attention, and try to know them. They are just “little people.”
All people want to be understood and loved. I think it is safe to say that if you don’t take the time to understand someone, you probably shouldn't give them advice or direction. There’s nothing more annoying than a self-proclaimed expert who doesn't know you but tries to tell you what to do. To speak to people constructively and productively you have to know them.
That’s why we are hosting the “Compassionate Boldness Symposium” presented by Mormonism Research Ministries. It is on Saturday, February 7 from 9:00 to 1:00pm.
We live in a culture where there is one dominate religious expression. It seems odd to a lot of people. Many have moved here to straighten them out, to teach them grace while showing very little of it. This is not a very Christian way to approach someone. A gracious attitude is much easier to have and keep when you have taken the time to know people.
So this is an opportunity to better understand the teachings of the LDS church, to appreciate the LDS people, all the while looking honestly at the differences that exist between LDS theology and historic Christianity. You are having these conversations all the time. I hope this learning opportunity makes you more humble, gracious, and effective. The Compassionate Boldness Symposium will give you a better understanding of the people you are speaking with. And honestly, this is Jesus-like. He became human. So when He gave Himself for us on the cross, He fully understood you, and why you needed a Savior so desperately.
Growing with you,

Naomi Winebrenner