Ever wondered what was going on in the world while Joseph Smith was translating, or when the Salt Lake Temple was dedicated? We've done the research for you and found some surprising connections in 19th-century world and church history. Keep an eye out next week for events from the 20th century in part two!
History classes for most of us were all about world events or the history of the country we lived in while church history was only learned, well, in church. But we never really put them together. When you place these two timelines side by side, you may be surprised to find out that Brigham Young sent the first transcontinental telegraph message the same year that the Civil War started, or that the first latter-day Quorum of the 12 was organized the same year famous author Mark Twain was born. Let us know your favorite set of events, or any we left out, in the comments at the end!
Images retrieved from history.com and lds.org
Calls. Texts. Facebook. Dropping off treats. Everything short of hiding in the bushes of the women we visit teach, and we’ve probably tried it. So what should you do when your visiting teachee avoids you? And how can you keep from getting discouraged?
I call, I text, I stop by, and I follow her on social media. But even when I feel my level of friendly “watch care” is teetering on the edge of stalking, I get nothing. Time and time again, I fail. Has the sister I visit teach dropped off the face of the planet? I’ve experienced this feeling frequently throughout my years of visiting teaching. At first, I thought it was me. But, in talking with friends, I realized this kind of reception is common among sisters. So, what’s a woman to do when she gets rejected time and time again?
Here are just a few tips I’ve learned through my colorful history with visiting teacher dodgers.
Think Outside the Box
After cultivating a wonderful friendship with one of my visiting teachees, she simply stopped associating with anyone in our ward at all. She wouldn’t come to any church activities—let alone church on Sundays. This worried me quite a bit because only a couple months before, she had decided to receive her endowments and had gone through the temple. I had hoped that because we were such good friends, she would tell me what the problem really was and what was troubling her. But it was no use. I tried everything. Texts, facebook messages, facebook wall posts, treats on her doorstep, and never so much as a text to tell me that she still acknowledged my existence.
I never wanted to date someone with a pornography addiction. But I did. Here’s my story and why I stuck with him.
As a single sister in the Church, I’ve gone on my fair share of dates (more than I can remember in my 10 years of dating). Going out with someone who has a problem with pornography was never my goal in life. In fact, I had tried to avoid it at all costs. But as I got older, I realized that finding someone who had never been mixed up in pornography was going to be trickier than I thought.
Last year, I dated someone who alluded to me that he used to have a problem with pornography. We’ll call him Guy #1. (He was the first guy to tell me, but he wouldn’t be the last.) I could see the effects of the pornography seeping into the way he treated me. He really adored me, but his brain had been tainted by the years of pornography use. And I understood from the few conversations we had about it that it was a battle that he was still struggling with to some degree.
He was never extremely open about his problem, and I had no idea where he stood with the Lord and his testimony. This made me afraid to be open and vulnerable with him, and I never truly trusted him. I wanted things to work out between us, but no matter how much I tried, the thought always came to me, “You should break up with him.”
So I did.
Fast forward one year. I would say that I had built a good little fortress to protect my heart. Right when I thought I wouldn’t ever really trust someone again, I met a new guy. We’ll call him Guy #2. I instantly felt a good connection with him. We were able to talk easily, and he was very open about who he was and the path that he had followed in life. It wasn’t a pretty one.
Did you know that Mormons can't use electricity? I didn't--and I am a Mormon! Check out these other instances when a friend or acquaintance had something interesting to say about Latter-day Saint beliefs and culture.
“What are you doing? You can’t use a calculator!”
My hands froze on the keypad, and I looked to my fellow seventh-grader who had made the statement. We were in math class working on a homework assignment, and I hadn’t realized calculators were prohibited. It looked like all my classmates were tapping away on their electronic math aids. So I asked back, “Why?”
“Aren't you Mormon? You can’t use calculators.”
And that’s when I realized: my classmate thought being Mormon was the same as being Amish.
After assuring him that I had arrived at school that morning in a car and that I had plans to use a computer later, I got back to my assignment, calculator in hand.
But that wasn’t the last time I’d hear something strange one of my classmates, coworkers, or even close friends who had an odd idea about what it meant to be Mormon. Here are eight more times I or one of my LDS friends have heard something about our beliefs from others who clearly didn’t quite get what it means to be a Latter-day Saint:
1. “But you don’t celebrate Christmas.”
What you thought was just a silly or sweet compliment could in fact have damaging consequences you never expected. Check out this list of common harmful compliments to learn what to avoid.
One of the first things my best friend heard from her mother as she hugged her in the Salt Lake City airport, missionary pack still in hand and nametag still pinned to her sweater, was, “Honey, I am so proud of you. A year and a half surrounded by French dishes and all those crepes, and you stayed so thin!”
While the intention behind this compliment was sweet, the overall message it sent was horribly wrong. What about her year and a half of devoted service to the Lord? What about her new spiritual confidence? What about her practical fluency in a second language? Of all the qualities this mother could choose to praise after her daughter honorably served a mission, she chose dress size.
This behavior isn't uncommon. Take a look at the comments on any selfie. Superficial compliments flood Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. And many of these comments encourage behaviors that are ridiculous, if not outright dangerous. It’s tempting to think that any compliment to a woman is a good compliment. But that’s not the case. Many compliments carry undertones or emotional baggage that we may not even be aware of. These compliments, though intended to be uplifting, can actually be harmful to a woman’s sense of self-worth. (While I focus on examples geared towards woman, it's important to realize these types of compliments are harmful to anyone--both men and women.)