#PRINCEofPEACE: What My Ancestors Knew About Faith

#PRINCEofPEACE: What My Ancestors Knew About Faith

Admitting to being a Christian these days is not very PC. When I say that I’m a Christian, it has nothing to do with race, sexual orientation or political beliefs, it simply means that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Sheri Dew said, “It simply isn’t possible to be a disciple of someone you don’t know.” While I do not profess to be an expert on everything about the Savior, I have spent my life studying His teachings and I am trying to become more like him (and failing miserably, but I keep trying).

My ancestors came to America to find religious freedom. My English Puritans and Quakers, my French Huguenots, my Swiss Anabaptists and my German Protestants all came to America to worship God without fear and they were willing to sacrifice everything for their faith.

Down through the generations, faith has continued to play a big part of my family’s lives. I have Episcopal missionaries, circuit rider preachers and lots of Baptist ministers on my family tree. My father, lost his faith in God when his beloved mother died in a tragic car accident and he began to drink so heavily that he was in danger of losing his family. One day, he began to look for answers to his questions about God and when I was 7 we joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons).

Within the LDS church, I learned how to pray and really talk to God, to find answers to questions like “where I did  I come from” and “what is my purpose here on earth” and “what happens to us after we die?” As I grew up, I read the scriptures often and all the gospel doctrine books I could find – as I wanted to really understand and know for myself the truthfulness of what I was taught.

When I was 22, I served as a missionary for the LDS church in Japan and through serving and teaching others of Jesus Christ, my faith and understanding grew even more.

My faith in the Savior has helped me overcome debilitating illness, multiple miscarriages, death and many hardships. I know, just as the Apostle Paul knew, who wrote: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

My faith in Jesus Christ is very real and deeply personal. Most of my friends and acquaintances know I am Mormon, as I certainly don’t hide it. But, I rarely share my deep feelings of love for my Savior, Jesus Christ, as I hold those feelings sacred and do not want other’s to mock or scorn something that is so dear and precious to me.

I am not afraid that Jesus can’t handle ridicule, he died at the hands of those who despised him for his message of love and redemption. Nor, do I fear for that my church can’t take it, as the Mormon faith has withstood mobs, laws that made it legal to kill their members in Missouri and Broadway musicals made to mock their faith… I think they have proven they can take it.

I have also known religious persecution in my life. I have been denied jobs, have had neighbors not allow their children to play with mine and have had people make an about-face and leave without a word after asking which church I attend. My children, who all served missions for our church have had guns and knives pulled on them, beer bottles thrown at their head while riding bikes and have been purposefully targeted by someone trying to hit them with their car. I have had other Christians tell me that I am “not Christian enough”, that I am a member of a cult and that I belong to the church of the devil. I have had “friends” spike my food with drugs and my drinks with alcohol in unsuccessful attempts for me to break the health code LDS members live by.

While I certainly do not enjoy these things, I don’t live in fear of them. No, my fear has been in worrying that by my profession of faith might offend someone, or that they might think I am pushing my beliefs onto them. I love my friends, the majority of which, do not share my religious beliefs, as our friendship is not based on that.

I don’t care what your religion, race, sexual orientation or political beliefs are! Regardless of how others feel about me or my faith, I will continue to do my best to love them, though frankly sometimes they may irritate the heck out of me with their incessant political posts. What I do care about is if you are kind and that you are respectful to others who differ from you, and that you strive to be honest and have a good heart.

I remember and honor my ancestors, who were willing to sacrifice their all, so that they could live their faith – can I do any less?  I will call upon their courage and example and share a message of peace, a peace that I know comes through faith in Jesus Christ.

This Easter mormon.org  is introducing their #PRINCEofPEACE campaign specifically designed to keep Jesus Christ at the center of Easter. The theme, “Prince of Peace” is designed to help us implement eight core principles of peace that Jesus taught:

  • faith
  • compassion
  • forgiveness
  • repentance
  • gratitude
  • scripture [God’s word]
  • prayer
  • hope

I invite you to watch this short, powerful video about Him to share with your family this Easter.

From the words of  Isaiah 9:6, “…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” 

May we all use this scripture and this campaign this Easter to reverently remember our resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and may we all help bring more peace into this world.

Want free downloads and printables to help you celebrate this Easter? Click on the links below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. […]  “My ancestors came to America to find religious freedom. My English Puritans and Quakers, my French Huguenots, my Swiss Anabaptists and my German Protestants all came to America to worship God without fear and they were willing to sacrifice everything for their faith…” (Read the full story here.) […]

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