Her words rang in my ears the rest of the day, “I came here willingly.” She said this roughly 7 times in a mere 2 minute exchange with a visitor. When gently pressed by the visitor about her 18 month commitment to stay here her forced, thin lipped smile conveyed her exasperation of the perceived judgement.
“We’re discouraged from going home to visit with our family during this time. I came here willingly, as a missionary.”
Our eyes met for the briefest of moments, hers read tired, maybe even a little sad, mine empathetic. As I quickly tried to slip by her and out the door she lightly, lovingly even, touched my wrist and just above a whisper I heard, “thanks for coming.”
To say I know nothing about the Mormon faith would be a lie I do however acknowledge my understanding is limited.
What I know in my own heart is, faith, whatever that may look like to you, is personal and to be respected by yourself and everyone around you. Faith, to me, is love based. Love yourself, love your neighbour, love every living thing, love the Earth. Love is beautiful. When any one of these things gets too out of whack and the love is lost or perverted then we need to examine what the consequences are, are they making the world a better place?