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Rejection of Generalizations Concerning Christianity, Judaism, Islam & Everything In Between

I want to write about something that has been a very pressing issue to me. Something I've observed among a few of my social media circles and that I feel the need to address and take a stand on

I was sitting on the plane from San Diego to Charlotte NC today. I'm actually writing this on my iPhone on my flight, so there will probably be a lot of editing issues.

We were on row 12 and he was in 11D in my direct line of vision. He was a Hasidic Jew. You can spot them fairly easily by their unusual dress and style. 

I have a special affinity towards people who openly and shamelessly practice their religion- any religion. 

In my own Mormon faith, not much more than 150 years ago, my ancestors were definitely a minority. They were different, difficult to understand and unrelatable to those around them. They were severely persecuted, driven out, discriminated against and killed simply for their beliefs and because of the fear of others. They had to flee their homes and try to find refuge in a new land. Many died and very few outsiders helped along the way. Rather, when encountered, others would frequently tar and feather them, rob them, burn their homes, or kill them. They received little mercy and much persecution. Because some were eventually successful and survived, they are frequently referred to as "pioneers"- but I believe they could also easily be netted under the term "refugees". 

Is that not happening today with other (specifically Muslim) faiths? Because it is no longer my own religion or culture being discriminated against, should I not care? Should I not show mercy because I don't believe the same things they do? Should I turn away and let them suffer, because it does not personally affect me this time? Because of a radical few, should I judge the entire religion unfairly and find excuses to not only ignore them in their despair, but hate them? 

To my fellow Mormons- because of our background and similar history, we should be among the first to reach out. And we shouldn't have to wait for direct instruction to do so. 

Elder Howard W Hunter of the quorum of the 12 in our Church said nearly 20 years ago, "if a bridge is ever built between Christianity and Islam, it must be built by the Mormon church." (Source below)

Also, Elder Parley P Pratt said, " upon the whole, Muslims have better institutions and better morals than many Christian nations." (Source below)

Keep in mind these quotes were far before the time of ISIS. This timeframe should illustrate the true nature and doctrine of the Muslim faith - untainted by modern day radicals. 

To read more about the Mormon church's perspective on Islam, read this: 

The women who cover themselves so beautifully and carefully, the men who cover the top of their head, the people who choose not to participate in seemingly harmless activities, substances, or certain foods in the name of faith despite the commonplace in society, those who keep one whole day entirely sacred and dedicate it to God, those who trustingly send off their teenage sons and daughters to foreign lands to share their faith, the people who kneel in a corner of the airport or office and pray diligently to their deity multiple times a day - these are those whom I admire so greatly and look to as examples for my own personal faith. They are shameless and devout- things I should strive to be and strive to emulate. 

Anyone who openly practices their faith today is subject to almost guaranteed harsh scoffs and criticism and judgement. Today, to practice and believe any religion- let alone openly and physically- takes a lot of courage and a lot of dedication. I believe it shows a level of character that is so rare to find anymore. 

The man in 11D sat there very quietly. He bowed his head and clearly said a silent prayer. He raised his head and slowly peeled a ripe, red peach with a plastic knife. After finishing, he reached in his bag and pulled out a prayer card in Hebrew. He bowed his head once again and prayed silently for almost 10 minutes. 

The stewardess came with drinks. He got a water and smiled, and after she moved to the next row, he once again bowed his head and prayed over his insignificant little cup of water. For the remaining 3 hours of the flight he did simple math on a paper napkin- or prayed. Once- I am certain- over a young mother desperately bouncing and walking with her crying infant in the aisle. 
You could tell after brief observation that this was a good man. A faithful, kind man. A man who clearly received everything as a gift from God- and deliberately gave thanks for it. You could observe after that 4 hour flight that he lived an extraordinarily simple life. One of gratitude and devotion. A godly, good man. And he is not Christian. 

Is that not how I should live? What I should strive to be like? Is my way of life the only way?

No- I write this to openly reject the idea that Christians are the only "good" in the world. I reject the idea that my culture or my way of life is superior or the only way. I can not only diligently maintain my own beliefs while doing so, but even strengthen them by the examples of others from very different faiths than mine. Can we not join together- praise each other for our good efforts and actions and grow because of it? Can we not still serve and rescue one another even though we differ? Can we refrain from persecuting, judging and fearing those differently than us? 

To anyone with or without a deity: yes- I believe we can. 

To those with biblical roots, was the Good Samaritan not "enemies" with the man (Jew) whom he rescued? Was he not passed by twice by supposed good men (one a priest) before he was assisted? I believe we have those stories so we may not repeat the same mistakes today. 

Faith cannot reside in the same body as fear. If you are Christian, that is doctrine. I intend to take it to heart. I cannot pass by the proverbial dying man in the road- or weak Mormon pioneer family- again, without experiencing severe cognitive dissonance. Passing by with a shrug of pity isn't enough anymore, no matter how unpopular that may be with some I know. 

"Your beliefs don't make you a better person- your behavior does." - Sukhraj S Dhillion

Let's all be a little better and do a little more. 


  1. I love this, Kailin. I am so often amazed by your strength and goodness, and I wish I knew you better now. I loved your friendship 10+ years ago, and wish I had made a better effort to help it last. You have become an incredible person: full of love and a determination to be better. Thank you.

    1. I'm just now seeing this. Thank you Ashlee! I truly feel the same about you ❤️

  2. Kailin, this is so beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. You are wise beyond your years. I'm so glad we are cousins. You are such a great example for our family.

    1. Thank you so much. That really means a lot❤️

  3. Kailin, this is so beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. You are wise beyond your years. I'm so glad we are cousins. You are such a great example for our family.

  4. I so appreciate your perspective!!! ❤❤ What a world this would be if everyone just had a bit more empathy for others.

    1. Thank you Camille! I do so agree. The world needs a lot more of it.



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