Monday, November 12, 2007

On Strength in Diversity

The Anaheim Mormon Chorale, which is Woody's main musical outlet these days, participated on Sunday in an Interfaith Concert. Earlier that day, Woody and I both had teaching assignments - the lesson being "Strengthening Our Families." The lessons and the concert were both wonderful experiences for us, and the lesson I learned that day concerned how much we have to gain individually and collectively when we work to increase bonds of unity while still appreciating the strengths of our differences.

When I first read the "Strengthening Our Families" lesson, I knew that there was already a LOT of expertise among my class members. The Spirit whispered, and we all benefitted as so many amazing women shared bits of wisdom regarding successes in their homes. Simple things, like a rule that nobody can say anything bad about anybody else (and if they do they have to follow up by saying three nice things about that person), maintaining the habit of family prayer (even if it has to be done on a speaker phone when a father is traveling on business) and encouraging family members to keep daily "Gratitude Journals" (recording at least one blessing received each day), really can work to make each person, and our entire family unit stronger.

And in the same way, I was reminded to appreciate the strength that can come through the diversity (as represented by the choral groups and representatives who spoke at the Interfaith Concert) of people in our world as we come to understand that we are all children of the same loving Father, no matter how we choose to address Him. The girls and I learned so much as we listened to declarations of faith and gratitude through song and speech. It was the first time I had ever heard from people of some of these faiths - Baha'i, Jain, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Buddist, Hindu, and several different Christian groups(including Mormon) were represented. The culminating message was delivered by the combining of all the choirs as they sang "Praise to the Lord", under the guest direction of Craig Jessop (conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). It was truly a wonder to behold!

I have the priviledge and responsibility to live in such a way that my life reflects the light of Christ, who is the foundation of my own faith. Some days I do better than others, but I will keep up the effort because the goal is so worthy!!

I do so love this season of gratitude!!

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