So, I’ve had my first true reader question. Usually, I get questions from people I know. This is from someone who is curious. I like that. And, it was phrased politely. Even better. It’s a question that I’ve touched on before, but would love to give an answer to again.
This reader emailed to ask me how we ever managed to find an LDS orphanage when we ourselves aren’t Members. Then, she asked how I feel about being Evangelical Christian but still having so many Mormon messages in our home.
FPD and I are Evangelical Christian. We weren’t always. But, we are now. We started out as kind of uninspired members of a local United Church of Christ. Worship there never inspired me, and the sermons never felt like they were meant for us or pertained to us in anyway. The congregation was a bunch of old, white people. Not that being old and white is bad, but FPD and I were young, and our kids are black. I actually began to teach Sunday School (for the few children that actually attended) to avoid having to listen to the sermon. Not much of a way to be. So, when the boys were old enough to actually learn about worship, I realized I was feeling like my spiritual bucket was totally dry. We changed churches. We found a church that has a band every Sunday and a “Hallelujah!!!” kind of feel to it. I would wear a hat and carry a hankerchief to church every Sunday if I wouldn’t look like an idiot. In fact, I still might anyway. The songs inspire me, and the messages feel like they were made for me. There are some things I don’t necessarily agree with, and some of the people too (we have some whackadoos at our church, but what church doesn’t?). I just leave those discussions and people alone. I feel He and I have already discussed those topics. Judge not lest ye be judged and all that.
Then, God whacked me over the head with my introduction to the LDS Church. We didn’t find the orphanage, it found us. It’s a miracle it did. If there is one thing I think they did right there (and there probably is REALLY only one thing), it’s that they welcomed FPD and I with open arms. Everyone involved was fine with my non-membership to the LDS Church. The orphanage that my Ghanaian kids are from was run by a member of the Church. Most of the other families who adopted were also “members” (there was only one other non-LDS family…Hi Lanae!!!). So, I learned a lot. And, I dig it. I’m open-minded, so I totally embraced some of the principles. Who wouldn’t love a church with emphasis on the family?!? I love it. And, it was what my kids were used to. They were used to Family Home Evening (FHE). So, we started it at home when Bubbly arrived. Then, the Duo came, and they had been even more immersed in it. Giggles knows all the hymns. They inspire her, just the way my little band on Sunday inspires me. And, I’m sorry, but you Mormons make some awesome movies. Some of those Mormon Messages make me weep! There are aspects of many faiths that I feel inspired by. Principles of Buddism, certain traditions of Judiasm. Religions fascinate me.
Worship is about finding what moves you and going with it. So, I want Giggles to go with what makes her feel close to God. I’ve often felt that the path I have been led on, through Ghana, and out the other side, might have been a message to me about becoming a Member. But, I’m not there yet. Faith is a huge decision. It affects every aspect of your being. So, because it’s such a huge part of my life, I can’t imagine making the decision about where to worship for Giggles. While right now she wants to attend our “family” church, I can tell that there is a part of her that yearns for a good Sacrament Meeting where people bear their testimonies the way she saw in Ghana. The LDS Church was her first experience with having faith and the power of believing in something bigger than yourself. Giggles is still very tied to her beliefs. I just gained a daughter, I’m not about to tell her that the way she worships is incorrect. And, I don’t necessarily believe that anyway. She believes the values that she was taught with all her heart. They are honest values that I agree with. This is why I rejoiced with her when she was lucky enough to receive this in the mail…
This package was like Christmas for her. She poured over it all day. Giggles recognizes the miracle we were blessed with that brought her and her brother here. The stars aligned and people that could have turned their backs on us didn’t. We were welcomed into Temple Housing in Accra and treated as if we were family. This is the very definition of being “Christian”. While, yes, I have met some whackadoo Members, there are many more people that I now consider my good friends. Giggles considers the Temple in Accra to be a house of miracles. The other day, when we got this package, she was most excited about the glossy picture of “her” temple that was enclosed. She showed it to ResposiBoy excitedly and told him “someday, when I take you to visit Ghana, we will go back here to visit”. Maybe, she will even be able to enter “her” temple then. That would make me very proud. This is the site of her personal miracle. I framed that picture for her.
I think I am the only non-member in the world who has a daughter with a picture of the Temple in Accra above her bed. If your daughter has one too though, and you aren’t a member, please feel free to email me. Just do it politely please.
who is thankful to live in a country where people are free to worship as they please.