Over the past few months I decided to wear various types of clothing to church,, and church activities. Sometimes i would wear a colored shirt to sacrament, another I would wear a grungy looking shirt to FHE, and I would “dress up” like my normal self. I came to find out that Mormons act very differently if you dress outside of the “Undeclared Mormon Dress Code.” This dress code requires popped collars and nice shoes. And if you are a girl, a little “cancer” bump on top of your head. So, in response to how Mormons judge others I have dedicated this post to this topic (I apologize for the roundabout approach).
I seek to understand the religions other Human Beings belong to, not judge them. By judging these religions I am not doing the will of God, but that of Satan. I always ask, What does this other Religion mean to me?
I have been taught that it does not matter what religion a particular individual relates to. This is a choice that everyone makes on their own. The famous question of “Why?” just does not matter. All that matters is that the teachings do not skew the beauty of religion (take this as you may). Beauty as a religious factor is everything that makes up the soul. It is not my job to judge those of other faiths based upon THEIR beliefs.
As I look at a faith that is not of my own I literally place myself into the shoes of an individual from that faith. I learn everything I can about the particular religion and seek the understanding needed for me to be able to love the religion as if I was a member of that particular religious group. I have been harshly criticized for using this tactic. However, to learn about other cultures, religions, etc. an individual needs to immerse itself in a particular group until the person understands everything he can about the religion. After the person has done this he is then able to step back, evaluate himself (not the individuals who were teaching him) and change his belief structure into one that includes the religious teachings that will make him a better human being. It is experiences like these which have taught me that LOVE and UNDERSTANDING is the best tolerance for Religious differences.
I will never forget an experience I had while attending a service at the Hare Krishna Temple in Boise, Idaho. After the service was over I decided to linger in the Worship area and listen to the amazing music that was being played. A few minutes later one of the band members invited me to join them and handed me a drum which looked very similar to one that I used to play as a kid during my first Shamanic Journeys, she then showed me how to play the rhythm on the drum and taught me the words to the chant. I held a bit of hesitation in playing in a Temple that was not of my faith and out of respect I said, “I am not Hindu, is it still ok that I join in?” She responded with “You believe in God, this is all that matters.” I then had an amazing time singing and playing a beautiful drum that reminded me of other ceremonies which helped shape me into the religious being I am today.
In ending, I cannot “view” people of other faiths; I cannot judge them or make them different from me. As a religious being I understand that this is not what God wants. Consider the following scripture from the KJV
Romans 2:3, “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”