My mother claims that if she weren’t a Mormon she’d be Jewish. Assuming, of course, that she got over her belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior and all that other Christian stuff. She’s just always loved Judaism. She even observes Yom Kippur every year in her own way, since it coincides with her birthday and she likes starting each new year of life by repenting, forgiving, and drawing closer to God.
Recently she expressed a desire to attend Catholic catechism classes. As a more non-Catholic alternative, though, I think she planned to settle for a seminar put on by her local Catholic church entitled “Everything You Wanted to Know About Catholics But Were Afraid To Ask” or something like that. It’s just another faith that she’s fascinated by and she wanted to learn more.
Now this is probably because she raised me to think this way, but I don’t see anything wrong with learning about and incorporating principles of other faiths into my own worship. In fact, I taught a Relief Society lesson once where I encouraged the women to participate in a personalized version of Lent in preparation for Easter. (Note: Mormon’s don’t traditionally observe Lent.) I think it’s a beautiful custom and an excellent way to make sure the season is less about bunnies and eggs and candy and more about the Savior.
In the last few days, one of my former students has gotten back in touch with me. She is Muslim. She asked what religion I affiliated with. I told her I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She asked why. I gave her the simple explanation that I believe in the teachings of that church.
What I didn’t tell her is that I also believe some teachings of many other religions–undoubtedly including her own–because they are totally in line with the gospel I know and love. I feel like the more I know about other religions, the more I know about my own. I’m also better able to understand where others are coming from and show respect for their viewpoints and decisions.
Yes, I’m a Mormon, but in a multicultural, inter-faith kind of way.
(And I hope my discussion with this girl continues because I’m really looking forward to learning more about Islam!)