Sunday, August 16, 2009

An FYI To My Typical Mormon Brothers & Sisters:

Now that I have your attention, let me just share a few things with you that you may not understand.
Black folks talk to God. Oh I know we all do, I believe, for the most part, we all call it prayer. We talk to him through prayer.

BUT... we also talk to him out loud. We have conversations with him. We express feelings to him. We please with him. And yes, sometimes we even debate with him. It's not weird to us to speak his name out loud and communicate with him as if he is right next to us. We do it while shopping, exercising, crying, laughing, doing laundry, cooking... you name it... we talk to him whenever we feel the need. Maybe it's a cultural thing?
Our mama's do it. Our Grandmama's and Great-grandmama's did it. They did it in the Cotton and tobacco fields. They did it in the Massa's house. They did it behind is back and under his roof and out loud and in their own homes. If I'm to believe he is with me always, why wouldn't I audibly burst out in conversation with someone who is with me?
I bring this up because it is not strange for me to start a conversation with "I was chatting with God the other day about so-and-so, and he told me...."

Or.... "I was about to do such-and-such, but God told me to close my mouth, sit down and be still instead..."

I have seen the raised eyebrows and questionable looks. I don't mind them because I know the heavens are opened. I know the Lord communicates through his Son, Jesus Christ, through his prophets and apostles, and through us, his children. I can feel his spirit with me so distinctly when that communication comes from the Lord. And it NEVER fails me. There have been times it has saved my life and the lives of those around me. I have learned not to question it and to obey it. Sometimes it is an Audible voice. So much so that I will turn and see who is speaking to me. Other times it is a thought, impression or feeling from within that leaves me no doubt or fear and an urgency to heed it's command.

What I have learned from talking to the Lord is that he wants me to communicate back. When I don't understand, I ask questions. Sometimes I joke and laugh. I figure he's given me my personality, he knows me, he expects me to be me. I also realized that my communication with him is for MY sake, not his. I have an obligation to come to him, confront him, ask for clerification and understanding. He knows when I am ready, willing and able to seek out his will. However how vain would it be for me to expect HIM to come to ME and grant me knowledge and understanding.

It disturbs me when I hear people say.... "Well God hasn't revealed to me any such things" My first response is.... "Well have you asked of him??" Someone once had the arrogance to say... "well he's revealed so many other things to me I'm SURE he would have let that be known if it were true." You go right on ahead and think that. We have an obligation to COME UNTO JESUS.
In past postings I've done this. I used to have a little sign on my bedroom door:

(Ask. Seek. Know)

How arrogant and selfish of us who expect knowledge to be dropped upon us without seeking out the answers for ourselves. The Lord knows us well. We do not speak to him for his benefit. We do not sit on our skimpy knowledge of him, the world and heaven and expect to know All there is to know of him just through reading the scriptures. Our journey as mortal beings is a life long education. The scriptures are our text book. I have been to many educational classes in which the textbook was given out for instruction. However, it is when I indulge in the lecture from the professors where I get the deepest understanding, those intricate details, and a deeper more clear meaning and knowledge.

I believe the Lord expects us to ask questions. I believe he expects us to speak to him formally and non-formally. If I am to believe he is my father, which he is, should I not be expected to speak to him as such. Just to be clear, I do believe in formal, proper prayer. I also believe there are times when the conversation comes out how it comes out and it is just as valid.
As I sat listening to my grandmother talking when I was in wasn't just jibberish. Everyone once again she would say... "Lord, have mercy on me." Some people would say this was using the Lord's name in vain. I have heard many times... " Oh, my God." I have seen the circumstances in which the phrase was used. Many times it was a plea for patience, help, security, strength. There may not have been a folding of arms or a kneeling but it was indeed a communication with the Lord.
There have been times when it's used as an expression and not a communication. This is what I believe to be in vain. I guess intent is how it's defined. And sometimes we are BAD at defining intent.

So if you see me walking down the street or sitting alone talking and you don't see anyone around me. TRUST ME, SOMEONE IS THERE!


S'mee said...

Maybe it is a culture thing...I know in our family (Jewish a couple of generations ago) we do the same thing, for the same reasons. Heck If I really believe He's there, why not?

The Pea said...

I loved this post!! You always inspire, I am one who does the same things and I get the same looks, when I tell people the Lord told me to grab a change of clothes for my baby, and then We Needed them after a pretty bad diaper explosion. I hear, "that was not the Lord he does not care about that" I disagree, I know we are told what to do. If we listen close enough and ask for the things we need. The Lord knows how horrible it would have been for me to have to leave that event because my daughter needed new clothes and he helps me out. And YES I thanked him OUT LOUD for his help! I talk to him constantly out loud, and sometimes we argue, thats okay, and would challenge anyone who told me I was wrong to do it. (sorry this ended up being so long)

Thanks for being great! And I have a question for you, Could me being a very white girl come to a Genesis meeting? I think I would love it!

ShaBANG said...

Don't ever apologize for comments! They are needed and welcomed. And of COURSE you can come to Genesis... EVERYONE IS INVITED AND WELCOMED.
When the first presidency set Genesis up in 1972 The quote used for the basis if Genesis was "supporting and edifying black Latter Day Saints, their families and friends and individuals interested in the Church"

I believe some where in that does include "a very white girl." ;)

***PS: September should be a good meeting. OCTOBER will be PHENOMENAL for sure!

Minuteman said...

I grew up in Virginia - the city part, not the real Virginia - but I heard a lot of what you describe, and it always sounded to me like that's how I would want people to act, if I were God.

Preach it, sister. This is truth.

Maraiya said...

Amen! This is an excellent talk on prayer. I'm trying to become more like this but I believe as a culture, we LDS need to know that it is not just a "proper" prayer that is heard and that God WANTS us to be honest and open and to speak with Him continually. I think you are right on.

UtahBoy said...

I just came across your blog today & loved the post. A reminder to all of us to pray always & what that can mean. Thanks!

Mark LDS Music said...

--It disturbs me when I hear people say.... "Well God hasn't revealed to me any such things" My first response is.... "Well have you asked of him??"--

That's essentially what Nephi told his brothers!

Loved the post!

dramatic sporano said...

Karyn, I love this! I want to share it with my missionaries. (Even though we're not in the MTC anymore, I still write to a bunch of them.)

Margaret Young

ShaBANG said...

Sister Margaret, you have a pass to use whatever of mine you want for the building up of the Kingdom!

Jahn said...

I figure, if you wear your Bluetooth, people won't give a second thought to whether you seem to be talking to yourself. :-)

ShaBANG said...

Lol True Jahn. Then again,I really don't care if people notice me talking to myself!!! ;)

Jettboy said...

Not exactly on this topic, but thought you would be interested in if you haven't heard of them yet. A great combination of funny and thoughtful.

I am too private of a person to talk out loud to the Lord, but I have certainly done enough of it when no one is looking. Prayer is not one of my spiritual strong points.

ShaBANG said...

Jett Boy, was created by 2 of my sisters. I know them well, lol. Thanks for giving them a holla and a shout out I'll have to let them know they're getting as popular as me ;) lol

*I'm sure their blog will surpass mine in all areas, they're awesome!*

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