Perceived Tensions

I mentioned in class that there has always been a tension between my Mormon grandparents and my nondenominational Christian parents. So when my grandparents gave me a call on my birthday last week, the first time they had ever done so, I was a little bit suspicious of their intentions and I spent almost the entire conversation on my guard against any sort of false testimonies they might try to feed me. When we said our goodbyes, I hurriedly hung up the phone and breathed a sigh of relief, like I had somehow dodged a bullet. Yet, looking back the only thing they had said regarding religion the entire conversation was their questioning if I had found a church in the area yet. That’s it. When I received a birthday card from them the next day, I was again taken aback and read it very slowly, looking for something malicious. Then I found it. They made a reference to scripture that I had never heard of, they were trying to brainwash me into their religion again, those jerks! Actually, they just had bad handwriting, the verse they referenced was in the gospel John and had no subliminal messaging at all. Twice in the last week, my grandparents had sincerely tried to do something nice for me, and twice I had shot them down on the assumption that my own grandparents might want to do me some sort of spiritual harm. I feel like there have been dozens of times over the years when they have tried to make amends with my family and we ignored them out of prejudice. This is a huge problem. If we could all learn to sit down and listen to what people with beliefs that don’t align with our own have to say, rather than ignore them out of spite, then we could really make some progress towards lasting peace and finding the truth. At the very least, this experience made me realize how important education in all of these religious practices is, because when we don’t understand something, we are far more likely to be afraid of it.

Jayden Olsen

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