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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Titter ye not. Lest I punch you.

I don't take offence very easily, it's too much effort, by the time I hear what someone says and feel huffy and tut and sigh, add in some righteous ( or not) indignation and I am irate, people who may have caused my ire have forgotten what they said or did and I am all enraged for what? Quite, so usually I see / hear and just let it go.
Sometimes, I don't. I probably should, there are just some things that I think are no go areas for joking.
Religion would be one of them.
I am beyond grateful that I live in a country where we are free to choose how we worship.
I am delighted that we seem ( for the most part) manage to live in a country where many different religions live side by side quite happily.
There are many religions I don't understand, some I know a little about and don't feel I could live with, that is the wonder of this freedom we have, I don't have to live with it, I don't have to do anything I don't feel good about. Isn't that great?
I can't, off hand, think of a single religion that makes me laugh, I have yet to hear about anything someone else might believe in that makes me howl with laughter or that I feel justified in behind the hand whispering jokes.
I really can't.
Faith is such an incredible thing. No matter if anyone else believes what you believe. Faith is a belief in things neither seen nor heard. It is an unshakable knowledge that something is true, even if you have never seen it or felt it or heard it.
For anyone to have a belief, a faith, a true knowledge of something that makes their life better, that gives hope, uplifts and enriches, to me is a marvellous thing.
I admire anyone who believes so strongly that they change their lives, that they are prepared to be different. If I don't think I could live the same way, somehow my admiration for them is increased.
That's why, when I hear jibes at what I believe in, I do get offended. I often tell myself it is ignorance ( which of course it is) and I try very hard to let it go, usually, truth be told, I can't.
There seems, lately, to be some juvenile joking about 'Magic underwear'.
Hilarious. To some.

Let me explain something.
Some Mormons do wear special underwear, it is not a secret, it is sacred.
It is not funny, it is incredibly special and important to those who have made the covenants that go along with the honour of wearing such garments.
Just as most people, for instance, will wear a wedding ring, as a visible sign to all and sundry that they have made promises to their spouse. So we, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Mormons, if you will, when we go through the temple, will make promises to the Lord, mostly promises to do with chastity, modesty etc.
To remind us of those promises we wear underwear that encourages modesty. There is nothing funny about it, you can find pictures if you google, that people who do NOT belong to the church will have posted, they will make the underwear look unflattering, funny, easy to mock. People who honour the promises they make, people who know and understand and believe will not, ever, place such a sacred thing in the public eye for others to mock, they wouldn't.
I don't know why people who know nothing call it magic, I suspect it might be that there are stories, true stories of how people who are wearing their garments have somehow inexplicably been protected, stories of missionaries who were stabbed yet unharmed. Who knows, and really, who cares?
All this means, to anyone who is not me, is this. I will never be seen wearing a mini skirt, hot pants, spaghetti strapped top, baring my midriff, of showing copious amounts of cleavage.
Have you seen me? This makes my wearing modesty inducing underwear a very good thing, the reverse effect, which would be me perhaps thinking that because such clothes are available in my size ( dear life!) means I could wear them. That would be something to laugh at.
The only person that sees my body is my husband, or my doctor. Again, relief from the greater public, rather than laughter would seem more appropriate.

I don't laugh at Jewish men who wear their skull caps, I don't find women who wear a headscarf hilarious, turbans don't make me giggle. I don't understand why this is so funny, the only difference is that you can't see what I wear, it isn't an outward sign of who I am, it is a personal and quiet reminded between myself and my God. Nothing more.

I really love the church I belong to, I believe in it, I wouldn't live this way if I didn't. I really wish people would find other things to laugh at. I hate hearing comedians joke about religion of any kind.
I despise any jokes that include Jesus Christ, of all the things in the world to laugh at, why choose Him? He is my Saviour, I love him, I will never laugh at Him ( although I am completely sure he has a fantastic sense of humour and love to think that one day, I might laugh with him)
I try not to take to much notice but honestly? Whenever I see a reference to magic underwear of multiple wives, I'll let you in on a little secret, I don't like it very much.
I get over it, until the next time and then I find I don't like you very much.
If you keep doing it, chances are I won't like you at all. No big loss, I'm sure you won't even notice me not liking you, people who know me and love me wouldn't join in the laughing at what matters to me.
If you are a member of the church and I see you joining in with the joking, you go so far down in my estimations as to not even register anymore. To try and gain favour by laughing at something you KNOW is sacred, just to curry favour with people who know no better...well more fool you. How's THAT working for you now?
If you are asked about it and say something stupid like " Oh I can't talk about it" and act all secretive, in my opinion you just added fuel to the fire, there is no harm in explaining that this is something we believe in, it is a reminder of promises we make, nothing secret about that, no need to go any deeper into it. There is no mystery.
I like to know if I am saying or doing something that makes anybody at all uncomfortable, so that I can stop.
I thought I would post about this in the hope that people might read it and stop making fun where I can see it, if not, well never mind. I don't want to make a big deal of it by commenting on other people's places, that seems impolite to me.
I wish there were words to share how my beliefs make me feel, how I know so completely that I am blessed to know the things I know.
I wish I knew how to share what a great joy it is to have such faith and feel so sure that the choices I make are so right for me.
I feel selfish sometimes because I don't share what I have the way I should, I hate the thought that it could be rejected or ridiculed, so I hold it close and keep it quiet. I will share it if you ask me though, I love what I know. I am happy to be who I am.
I don't expect anyone to believe what I believe, it doesn't make any difference to how I feel about you, whether we are friends or not isn't based on whether you believe the same things or live the same way as I do, I love you just the way you are.
I just like it better when you don't laugh at what matters to me.
By the way, I would never punch you for laughing at me, it just looked good in the title.
I would get Sophie to do it, she has a mean right hook. Just kidding, I think.



Blogger Sara said...

Love you, Helen... so much.

6:23 pm  
Blogger Kourtnie :) said...

Beautiful! You said it so well :). Thanks for your thoughts and for taking a stand on something so precious.

7:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing Sara said.

9:58 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thanks Helen - for the little reminder that we all need to be careful not to laugh or joke or make light of things at the expense of someone else's faith, or feelings.
I love you much!!

11:46 pm  
Blogger Julie Q said...

It is best only to truly laugh with someone, not at them.

Perhaps Sophie could teach Eddie that? :)

12:02 pm  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

I'll add to the Helen love fest.. and ask that if I ever do inadvertently say something offensive you will point it out because I wouldn't hurt you for the world!

1:01 pm  

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