“My God Is On A Time-Out”

2010 July 21

Please meet my friend, Nirasha.
Of MommyNiri.com.

Mother. Lover of Cameras. Blogger.

So much like me in many ways… and yet, exploring the differences between us was one of my favorite highlights of meeting her.

It’s interesting to watch how people react in a group setting when I refuse coffee, or trade out my ‘drink ticket’ opting for soda or ice water. The drinkers in my group are happy with the trade though!

Every once in a while I get a chance to share my religious beliefs with folks I barely know at a conference or at a dinner gathering.

It’s a quick story… about a young boy, who when deciding which church to join, felt the need to pray and ask God which one was right. He lived in upstate New York, in the year 1820. He was 15.

To his surprise, God the Father showed himself and on God’s right hand there also was His Son, Jesus Christ. That young boy was Joseph Smith. The young Joseph learned many things, mainly: that there was no full church on the earth at that time (a church like the one Jesus had create when he walked the Earth), that God was a separate being from the Son, and that he, Joseph Smith was to prepare to bring back (or restore) the Church of Jesus Christ as it once was when the Savior lived.

Wow. Crazy story huh? Well…  I believe that crazy story. A lot has happened to the members of this church in those nearly 200 years… and the rest of the dinner conversation at that point is usually taken up with the many questions peppered from the group. Polygamy? (Not practiced any longer.) Big Love? (I hate the HBO series and feel they mush two religions together with many inaccuracies.) Why no coffee? (It’s stated clearly in the Book of Mormon, no hot drinks, however I do drink herbal tea.) And on and on…

But one very late night while chatting and laughing and FINALLY getting to meet several of my most favorite online gal-pals at #EVOconference…

Instead it was me asking the religious questions.

Here’s the scene: I’ve only just met @MommyNiri: Nirasha Jagananth (HooRay! How lucky am I?) we’ve chatted a bit, air kissed… but haven’t had a chance to ‘hang’ and simply TALK.

I know a tiny bit about her background. She is of Indian descent; however she grew up in South Africa. (Talk about the coolest accent I may have EVER heard, BTW.) She overcame extreme poverty, traveled and worked in several different countries, finally deciding to visit and live in America for a time.. her reason: ‘because I hadn’t tried it here yet’. Talk about a courageous woman. She has a magnanimous spirit about her, a  beautiful family and lives in Boston.

That’s it. That’s what I know.

Cue the lights and couches in a giant Suite at The Canyons Resort in Park City, post-midnight.

She asks me about my religion, she’s just realized I’m LDS. I answer a few of her questions… and I ask her to please tell me all about her upbringing? What religion did her family practice? (I know so little about Hinduism and love listening to other’s beliefs.) I wondered especially how they practiced while in South Africa during Apartheid?

Again I quote Nirasha:

‘Oh you see… My God is in a Time-Out’.

You have no idea how much I wish you could hear HER accent as she says this.

In fact I would like YOU to hear her words entirely. I asked her if she would write her thoughts in a blog post. Explain to you as she did to me that late night. How she feels traditions and bigotry have gotten all jumbled together. How she … oh go read it already!

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8 Responses leave one →
  1. July 22, 2010

    It was a great chat indeed!

    I loved listening to all you and Niri had to say. Being raised Catholic …and … well – we Catholics have our own set of issues right?… I have always been interested in hearing others beliefs because I don’t think I ever truly agreed with any religion 100% (even my own)

    Like Niri said, I think I like the ideals of religion more than the methods and you both raised great points that night. I definitely learned a lot.

    Hope to have more late night chats with you gals at Blogher!

  2. July 22, 2010

    What I can’t believe is we had not met sooner.

    You know something? Even though I had thought of that statement and filed my faith under it I never uttered those words until you asked me. It has relieved a burden of guilt for not sharing the same love of God at that moment.

  3. Jyl Johnson Pattee permalink
    July 22, 2010

    One-on-one conference chats are some of the best I’ve had. I had such a chat with Niri at another conference, which is why we invited her to speak at Evo. So glad you two got to meet and have, what sounds like, a meaningful conversation on religion and God. I read Niri’s post as well and agree that everyone needs a breather once and a while. I’ll be interested to read part II: when Niri’s God comes out of time out. :)

  4. July 23, 2010

    How wonderful to have the opportunity to connect with someone like that, have that sort of discussion, and no one feel threatened or offended. If we could all do this, imagine…

  5. July 24, 2010

    Imagine indeed! I love those kinds of conversations and tend to find ways to have them, but I don’t think it’s that easy for everyone??

  6. July 26, 2010

    I was so sad I was unable to attend that conference. I tried so hard because I figured this was probably the only one I could attend due to cost factors. Since it was in Utah, I knew I could drive there and stay with my mom. Alas I missed it and you. But I am off to read her story, sounds fascinating!

  7. July 26, 2010

    Oh no> Niri site is down. I will have to bookmark it so I can read it later!

  8. Melissa Ann permalink
    July 31, 2010

    Thanks for introducing us to Niri – I just hopped over and greatly enjoyed her post… And how wonderful to meet and share and exchange with varied and beautiful women like that — in such an open and respectful and truly interested forum. This is the wonderful part of a global community — when the diversity makes us stronger and contributes to the goodness in us all…

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