President Gordon B. Hinckley, especially, sounded that theme.AMEN Jerry!! After recounting some missionary experiences and the account of a black student going to an all-white Utah High School, Jerry observed the following about the latter:
"My brothers and sisters," he told the Saints in Sudbury, Ontario back in 1998, "we must be good neighbors. We must be friendly people. We must recognize the good in all people."
The problem, I think, is that to "recognize the good in all people" we need to be curious enough to pay attention to them. We need to listen and learn. We must realize everyone has something to offer.
The wiser students hoped to learn new perspectives and insights from her. The less wise feared she would somehow upset the status quo and force them to adjust. Those two attitudes — fear on one side, and a desire to learn on the other — show up today when the discussion turns to Hispanic immigrants or to the growing number of Utahns who are not LDS.These are wise words. Inspiring, even. I wondered, however, why Jerry did not include one of the most talked about minorities in the news today in his thought process - gays! How could he overlook that???
The wise among us feel curious and want to learn. The less wise among us feel threatened. Fortunately, LDS leaders seem to honestly believe that people who are different from us have many things that can enrich us. They don't fear the change. They sense an opportunity — not just for conversions, but for a wider, brighter way to live. Curiosity may have killed the cat. But I think curiosity also makes an old dog wise. The counsel has been given: be good neighbors and recognize the good in all people. It's time to put down our guard and look for ways our new neighbors can enrich our lives, and we can enrich theirs.
Jerry's omission got me wondering what a good LDS family might do if they discovered their new neighbors were GAY (yikes!), so I posted the following comment to his article:
These are great thoughts. But I wonder sometimes if we, as a people, are ready and willing to follow this admonition.
Let me pose a hypothetical - picture yourself in this situation - what if your neighbors in this case were a gay couple? Would you have the same enthusiasm for getting to know them? Would you listen earestly and honestly to their point of view? Would you diligently search for the good in them? Would you allow them to enrich your life, and would you, in turn, enrich theirs? Would you be eager to share the gospel with this couple?
Food for thought. Do we, as a people, really reach out to EVERYONE? And can we truly consider ourselves disciples if we do not? I think the Saviour would find a way, don't you?
I was hoping some lively and meainingful dialogue would follow, since mine was the first comment on this article, but I guess people really don't post a lot of comments on DN articles, at least Church related ones (as opposed to the Tribune - telling?!) Anyway, there were a handful of answers but nothing of note.
I would really love to see how LDS people actually handled my hypothetical. It would make an awesome documentary, wouldn't it? To track the reaction when a married, totally charming gay couple moves in next door to a stereotypical straight-laced Mormon family with like 8 kids? WOW! Might make for some exciting footage!