An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

After our last family get-together, our Mormon daughter suggested that at our next gathering, we have a group discussion on prayer. Her kids have noticed, of course, a difference in how our evangelical son and his family say grace before meals. Wart and his family clasp hands while Wart addresses “Dear God” without Mormon prayer language—“thee,” “thou,” and “thy.”

I rather like the practice of holding hands and addressing God as a personal friend while giving thanks for daily sustenance; however, I understand that Lolly’s children are puzzled at what, to them, is unorthodox prayer ritual.

I told Lolly that her dad and I have no problem with non-Mormon prayers and suggested she might invite Wart to share his thoughts about prayer with her kids they next time they meet. Researching forms of prayer found in other religions sounds like a worthwhile Family Home Evening topic, and I think Lolly will address the issue there instead of at a family reunion.

I’m glad our grandchildren from both families are being exposed to prayer from different faiths within our family circle. Learning that people they love and respect belong to churches different from their own prepares children to live in a world of many religions—and no religion.

Our grandchildren also have the benefit of interracial family members. Loving a brown-skinned aunt and Afro-coifed cousins will keep those of strictly European heritage from culture shock when they encounter children of other races at school. Our biracial grandchildren will grow up feeling comfortable in two cultures.

I hope our family diversity will prepare our grandchildren to live in the world Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned, and that they will grow up to be the kind of people who judge others “by the content of their character” rather than by their religion or skin color.

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Comments on: "Not “Us” and “Them”" (4)

  1. In Gassho. Namu Amida Butsu.

  2. In Jodo Shinshu Buddhism “in Gassho” is said with both palms together and it means “in gratitude”. That is a loose translation. Namu Amida Butsu is “I take refuge in the Buddha” (another loose translation). These phrases are used regularly at the beginning and end of sermons. The Reverend will generally invite everyone to join him in Gassho.

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