Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:3-5)
He shared this wonderful news with his parents, who are of another faith, and they were happy for him. They may not understand his decision, but they do love him and, therefore, want him to be happy. Becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is what makes him happy. He was greatly relieved and overjoyed to know they didn't give him a hard time or disown him.
And yet, the other night when he told his sister, the response was much different. She, in essence, disowned him and broke his heart in the process. This was the sister he was closest to and this is very difficult for him. It has not swayed his testimony, nor his decision to be baptized, but he is a very sad man right now.
At 1:30 in the morning, my nephew's former roommates, all five of them, showed up at our house to give our nephew a priesthood blessing. My nephew, before the blessing began, bore his testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of his words struck a deep chord in my heart. He sat in the wooden chair placed in the center of our living room, my husband (still recovering from his kidney transplant) sat in his easy chair while I reclined on the floor, leaning against the entertainment center. One by one, these young men, each a worthy priesthood holder, placed their hands upon my nephew's head and pronounced an inspired, comforting and beautiful blessing, administering that spiritual balm of Gilead which heals all wounds. The Spirit of God filled our living room and peace settled upon the hearts of all privileged enough to be there at that time.
Tears filled my eyes and my heart was filled to overflowing as these "brothers" gathered around one of their own, and through the power of the priesthood and overwhelming love they have for this inspiring young man, literally swept me away.
Why do I bring this up? Simply because I cannot begin to understand walking away from a family member because you do not agree with a decision they've made to join a church different from your own.
Where in Christ's teachings are we taught to ridicule, hate or disown another for believing differently?
Where in Christ's teachings are we taught to eschew all we've learned and instill such pain on a loved one that will leave an everlasting scar?
Where in Christ's teachings are we taught to turn our backs on family over a profession of belief in Jesus Christ and a desire to continue on the path already trod by so many following in Christ's path?
My nephew continues to inspire me in all his actions. And on May 31st we will gather together and watch this phenomenal servant of God be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is no doubt in my heart that he is meant to be a "warrior" in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no question that his testimony, his heart and the power of his spirit will touch thousands upon millions, in one way or another. I look forward to May 31st and for the continual reminding this young man gives me of the gospel and the excitement which fills our hearts as truths learned long ago are brought into the forefront of our spiritual memories now.
I know that his sister's heart will eventually soften and it is my fervent hope that these damaged bonds will be completely healed. On my nephew's part, he feels nothing but great love for his sister and longs for that day. On his sister's part, she is filled with rage and pain at this time . . . it is my prayer that she will allow the healing touch of Jesus Christ to sweep those from her heart and this brother and sister may be reunited again.
I am reminded of the words of Mormon, another ancient prophet:
And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning ahope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be ameek, and lowly of heart.
If so, his afaith and hope is vain, for none is bacceptable before God, save the cmeek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and dconfesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. (Moroni 7:40-44)