On Sunday, I felt the desire to write and share, and then.. as I thought about how to say it, I started thinking about all the people that wouldn’t like what I would say. So this post kept not being written.

We members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have a 2-day conference twice a year.

I look forward to it.

This year on social media, there were several posts attacking it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. We seem more divided than we ever have been. I feel like I preach “let’s be kind, let’s just respect differences” and I’m speaking into a wind tunnel. It made me feel sad that a phrase or two were offensive to others. Well, there are times I hear things I don’t like too. I get that.

What I heard in the conference were messages of love, inclusion, to not judge others, and to be more like Jesus. I look forward to conference because it holds me accountable to my personal growth, I assess how I’m doing. I ponder “Am I growing and being more like Jesus?”

I know that God and Jesus Christ are real. I’ve had deeply personal experiences that I cannot deny or explain, other than the proof to me engraved on my soul that God is real.

If I’m wrong, then I’m like my atheist friends that live life the best they can to honor their fellow man. I say that because if we believe in God then we are accountable to that, we will be judged by that, and so we should live lives of goodness to others. Atheists only believe in this life, so they can’t push off responsibility to some other time they live now- the best, good life they can. So we both have that in common to live kind lives now.

I could go on and on and on.. the point is we all, regardless of our beliefs, have things in common. That is what I choose to focus on. That is what I build relationships on.

That is also called respect.

Today I saw a young person with a hurt arm. It looked complicated. I extended sympathy, because I saw a human being. My daughter was with me. Come to find out he’d be shot. With a gun. More conversation and if times were different I would have hugged them. After my daughter told me she likes me. I said, “I’m glad, why do you say that?”

She noticed that I was kind to the individual and though I know they were shot, worked as a tattoo artist, and are left handed, we don’t know their sex. Because if they are male or female it doesn’t matter as much as giving love and sympathy to someone with a hurt arm, who is going through a hard time. I hope if I were shot that others would do the same, be nice to me.

I’m going to assume if I asked them about religion, politics or gender issues we may not agree on all points. You know what? I’m not going through my life trying to find people to agree with me. I’m going through my life trying to be like Jesus. I’m trying to love my fellow humans. To me I don’t need to identity by a group because I identify as a human who loves other humans. Can we agree that is more important than all this stuff humans fight over?

I love history.

I avidly, annoyingly listen to history podcasts, read about history.. you know the main theme I get from history again and again?

Division is poopy.

Sameness is poopy.