I wrote this post a week ago, just one day after #blackouttuesday, and I will admit, I felt a little unworthy to put my voice out there (as a Caucasian woman) and share something that has been on my heart. But if I have learned anything, it is that sometimes we need to mute ourselves, and others we need to stand up and boldly say what is on our minds–what needs to be said.
With the many black squares on my feed last week, it was hard not to feel the darkness closing in. We have allowed such hate, discrimination, ignorance, and pride to saturate our society that it can often feel overwhelming to know what to do.
I was especially grateful for A Worldwide Sisterhood team member, Renee of @inspiringwomenwhoknow, who boldly shared of the realities of racism, discrimination, and even the kidnapping of entire generation of indigenous children in Australia. You can learn more about it by watching the movie “Rabbit-Proof Fence“. Renee also shared some great resources in her story highlights.
While I may not know what it means to be discriminated against because of the color of my skin, I do know what it feels like to be looked over because of my gender. Unfortunately, I have been abused, not taken seriously, written off, mocked, and even chastised for my choices as a woman and mother, and even more recently, as a woman of faith. And I refuse to allow my faith, especially, to be silenced while I still have a voice.
As I have pondered this week how we can bring more light to the dark place our nation is in right now, one very simple thought has come to mind. One I actually fear I will be ridiculed for. But I will step forward and use my voice.
Jesus is always the answer.
Some may see this as naive, simple-minded or even dismissive. But sometimes the simplest answer can be the most powerful.
As Elder Uchtdorf reminds us:
This beautiful gospel is so simple a child can grasp it…Sometimes, the truth may just seem too straightforward, too plain, and too simple for us to fully appreciate its great value. So we set aside what we have experienced and know to be true in pursuit of more mysterious or complicated information.”Dieter F. Uchtdorf
It really is simple. Jesus Christ is the answer to all of our questions.
Want to rid yourself of hate for your brother? Want to be forgiven?
Pray for God to grant you love for others. He will soften your heart and make it new.
Want to find a way to better understand others persepctives’ that you cannot currently understand?
Pray to know how to listen better, be more tolerant, and be brave enough to be present while difficult stories are shared. Pray to know ways in which you might mend bridges and connect more hearts. Pray to know who to reach out to. Allow the Spirit to guide you.
Want to know how to stand up and support your friends and community members who are suffering or fighting injustice?
Pray to know how to help, how to speak out, and perhaps what scripture to study as you take a card from Paul and boldly speak the truth and preach love, repentance, forgiveness and faith. The Spirit will guide your actions and help you speak up even when you feel fear.
Want to know how to bring more light to the dark days?
Pray to know how to let the fruits of the spirit abound in our hearts, homes and communities. That love, understanding, long-suffering, patience, temperance, joy, meekness, gentleness, goodness and peace can penetrate all our lives. (See Galatians 5, KJV)
Want to know how to help others find justice and equality?
Pray to learn from Him who loved all and always fought for the downtrodden.
When we draw nigh to God, he will draw nigh unto us and show us a better way, a more tolerant way. (See James 4:8, KJV)
Jesus Christ was the first to visit and love and embrace those who felt cast off. Study the scriptures to know how to emulate his love more.
There really is simplicity in Christ. (see 2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV)
But what do we do when justice does not come? When death and pain still ravage our communities? When doing the right thing doesn’t change anything? Or things change too slowly?
Christ is the answer then, too.
Be ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth praises of him who hath called out of darkness into his marvelous light. …Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.“1 Peter 2:9-10
Sometimes mercy doesn’t happen when it should.
What I hope for is that we can all be called out from the darkness of ignorance and educate ourselves through the light of knowledge. But unfortunately this still may mean that not all darkness may leave. And that mercy will not always be given by man or the justice system.
But it will be given by Him who has endured the most unjust life, who was persecuted because of the word he taught and the way he changed the course of a nation and a world.
I am not saying that activism is not needed, because absolutely YES! It is! And I think Christ and his Spirit can guide you the best way to stand up and speak out for wrongs that need to be righted and hearts that need to be changed. But I also know that road of the righteous is often long and lonely. As is the road of those who are suffering along it.
Mercy will come. It may not be here and now, and it may not be immediate. I pray that things will change. But I also pray that Christ can change us first and grant us peace when the world is still swirling around us, we will have the strength to do what he would do if he were here. And to grant us strength when things don’t change as fast as we hope.
The more I struggle to deal with the onslought of uncertainty that is the last days (and 2020) the more I turn back to my favorite scripture.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”2 Corinthians 3:5, KJV
The more I struggle internally, the more I need Jesus.
The more I struggle to understand what is going on in the world, the more I need Jesus.
The more I seek to learn and grow, the more Jesus helps me.
After all, “the glory of God is intelligence” (see D&C 93:36). And now is when we are seeking to learn new things about the world around us and the people in it who are different from us. And even when we seek to love those who use violence in the name of peace.
I rely on a song from my favorite Christian rock band from high school to implore you:
Your telling me that there’s no hope
I’m telling you your wrong
Never underestimate my Jesus
Cause when the world around you crumbles
He will be strong.”“For the Moments I Feel Faint” by Relient K
Never has the message of Jesus and his loving gospel been more needed than RIGHT NOW.
When there is no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.”Shawna Edwards, Peace in Christ
Jesus is always the answer.
Will you seek His guidance?
Featured Image – “Faith is in the Future” from A Moment with Christ