The Neighbors We have

The neighbors we have, ARE the neighbors we have: not necessarily the ones we want, or would chose ourselves.

This truth (like many truths) is self-evident and there should be no need to point this out. However, there is is obviously a need to both point this truth out, as well as comment on it. Far too many of my brethren hold far-fetched dreams and fantasies about being able (in some far-away future) to re-draw the lines of the US or seclude ourselves in some kind of ethnic, ethno-state where get to pick and chose our neighbors.

This will never happen.

And even if did, the cost would be horrendous: a Pyrrhic victory to be sure.

Readers of this blog may, or may not be aware of this, but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons, or LDS Church) has a highly unusual and eye-opening approach as to it’s “neighbors.”

In most faiths or churches, a person decides to attend a certain assembly based upon location, which more often than not is based upon class and race. The LDS Church has negated this impulse and common practice in America.

When you decide to attend an LDS meeting house (called “Wards”) either as a visitor or a member, you are “assigned” to a ward in a specific geographic area. In a sense, it is “your area” more or less close to your home, but it’s boundaries are drawn in such a way to include different economic and racial demographics. These people are not necessarily your “neighbors” in a geographic sense; some may live quite a ways from you. But they are in “your ward” and go to the same ward/meeting house every Sunday for Church services.

The LDS Church does this for one overriding reason: to force you to attend Sunday Church services and interact with people that you would not normally see or interact with in another walk of life. Mormons believe that just as you cannot chose your family members, but must accept their personalities and flaws because they are “family” you must also learn to live with your neighbors.

The Neighbors We Have

In short: The neighbors we have, ARE the neighbors we have: not necessarily the ones we want, or would chose ourselves.

We must find a way to live with them as the Mormons do.