“My God Is On A Time-Out”
Please meet my friend, Nirasha.
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’.
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!