Monday, January 30, 2012

Judge Me Not

I sat down in our combined Sunday school class as the teacher explained that we were going to play jeopardy on the doctrines of the Church. We quickly repositioned ourselves into two teams where the ages of the members ranged from, me, being the youngest at age 12, to the oldest being 18. After the opening prayer, our jeopardy game began. Going back and forth, it soon was my turn to be put on the spot and bombarded with questions. I listened intently and the teacher asked,

“What are the first ten words in the Book of Mormon?” I stuttered, hesitated, and then was completely dumb stricken, clueless of the answer. Heat raged through my body and redness flooded my face as I saw the reactions of my teammates to my loss of words. They were in awe and I was overtaken with embarrassment. They jokingly exclaimed their astonishment of how I did not know the answer. I just didn’t, and they pointed fingers. And although it was a joke, it was also judgmental. Like President Hinckley said, “There is a little bit of truth to every joke.”

I am an LDS Mormon. I am a convert to the Church. I love Mormons and not to be preachy and all, but I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be the one true Church upon this earth. I will never deny what I believe to be true. However, it constantly bothers me to hear that Mormons have the reputation of being labeled as self-righteous and prideful—which I find sometimes to be true. From this, I suggest a gentle reminder on how we should approach people, both Mormons and non-Mormons. Members of the Church need to stop judging others because it stunts our chances at approaching people who aren’t members, it causes misrepresentation of the Church, and it creates conflict among the members itself.

Mormons, and in fact all Christians believe that everyone on Earth are children of God and that He wants us to return to Him. That’s why we send missionaries all around the world to hopefully convert, or bring them unto the Gospel. Mormons might argue that it is true that people who aren’t members need to be “saved;” however, we should be careful on how we express this. We should care for our brothers and sisters, but this does not give us the right to judge their salvation or damnation. If I were not a member of the Church and were living a good life with a well-rounded family of kids and a supportive husband, I would not appreciate someone telling me that I need to be “saved.” It would not only give me the wrong impression that I am being pitied, but also demote myself to think that I am a horrible person compared to a Mormon. What may have started off to be a simple act of sharing the Gospel can result with misrepresentation of the Church because of an insensitivity of word choice.

We are commanded to be charitable and loving towards all men. This does not mean we should be prideful. We are to approach people in a non-critical way. I came upon a situation once when my family and I were quick to judge someone based on his actions. We had stopped at a red light and a man in a pickup truck was just pulling up next to us. As he slowed to a stop, he also rolled down his window and we realized that he was smoking. You can just imagine the look of disgust creeping onto each of our faces as the acrid smoke reached our noses. We then complained some more as he proceeded to litter the cigarette butt out his window. We immediately judged him based upon our own beliefs. Because he was smoking, we assumed and falsely accused him of being a sinful man that we wouldn’t want to approach. Because he littered, we labeled him an irresponsible and selfless man. Besides those superficial facts, we had no clue who he really was. For all we knew, he could’ve been a well-respected man! Since we judged that man from the very start, there existed absolutely zero chance of us approaching him, let alone converting him.

Mormons can be judgmental of people who do not share the same beliefs and standards; however, I have found that Mormons can also be very judgmental and criticizing about their own members. For instance, when I was in Canada, I choreographed a dance for the Young Women in our ward to perform for a party. Everything went smoothly until we had to decide what we wanted to wear for the dance performance. I had assigned the Young Women to wear yoga pants that were not skin tight but of course slightly more form fitting than boot cut jeans or sweats, all so that they could move more easily when they danced. But because of this, my Young Women leader said that we were immodest, indecent, and disobedient. She may have only been defending her own beliefs and even our standards, but I think judgmental words and accusations should not be insensitively thrown around; also, especially when done irrationally and without consideration.

I don’t know if Mormons have realized how judgmental we can be, even if it’s non intentional. We have been commanded to love everyone, so after this reminder, it is up to you to take some time to perhaps make some self-evaluations and see if you are judgmental of people. Alas, "judging a person does not define who he or she is; it defines who you are."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dance and All That Jazzzzzz

So on Thursday, I had the chance to go watch our very own BYU's Contemporary Dance Theater perform in their show, "Dance and all that Jazz." My mind was blown away at the energy, the emotions, and the creativity of all the dances performed. My goal right now, or even my dream is to make the CDT company one day; watching them perform that day made me want to be on stage even more. From contemporary, to jazz, to tap, and to swing dance, they covered it all! On top of that, they combined their work with BYU's very own band, "Synthesis," in a magnificent live band accompanied performance. I had a great day Thursday, but wrapping up my day by watching such a talented group of people perform simply completed it in the best way possible. If you ever have the chance, or get asked on a date, or would like to ask someone on a date, think about going to another one of CDT's dance concert, I promise, you'll come out a changed person!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Logos, Pathos & Ethos

So after watching different Star Trek clips in Writing 150 class today, we had to break down what were the Logos (logic), Pathos (emotion) and Ethos (Authority) components of the argument. Obviously from that, we had to apply these to our own OpEd, so here we go!

Thesis: Members of the LDS Church should not be so judgmental.
Appealing to Logos, people simply don't like to be judged and thus, if judged, they will not feel welcomed and we would not be able to find investigators. Appealing to Pathos, people's emotions are affected when they are judged. I give examples of how people can be critical about you when they judge. It is hurtful, makes you feel pathetic and makes you feel like a horrible person when compared to a Mormon. These demoting emotions will help people feel the need to agree with me on how Members of the LDS Church should not be so judgmental. Finally, appealing to Ethos. I have authority to talk about these things because I, myself am a Mormon, thus I have observed people who aren't members being judged by Mormons. I, myself have possibly been one to judge people who aren't members as well. I also have authority to speak upon this topic because I have personally been judged by Mormons as well.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I CLAIM to have REASONS while you make ASSUMPTIONS

Members of the LDS Church should not be so judgmental.

->Because it stunts our chances of approaching investigators.
->It causes misrepresentation of the Church
-> and it creates conflicts among the members itself.

-judging creates conflicts
-the Church does not want to be misrepresented
-investigators or people overall don't like to be judged

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OpEd Thesis !

I am a Mormon who strives to live accordingly to the standards of our Church and highly uphold missionary work and the need to preach and spread the Gospel to all who desire to hear. I am not denying the fact that all LDS Mormons should be charitable and loving to all people and that we should share and spread the “Good News” as often as possible to people around us. However, I am suggesting a gentle reminder or a mind refresher on how we should approach people, both members and non-members. We are talking about the dangers of being overly judgmental here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

OpEd Brainstorm

-Argue that there should not be a curfew for all Helaman Hall lobbies.
-Argue that Mormons can be very judgmental.
-Argue that there is a little bit of truth to every joke.
-Argue that males should not wear super skin tight jeans.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Where do I start, well first off, my name is Tiffany Ting Pao (and yes, Ting is my middle name which coincidentally is also my Chinese name!) Well, actually it is not so much a coincidence but more of how my Chinese name: "δΊ­” is pronounced in English. So congratulations to whoever that is reading this and is unfamiliar with Chinese, you just said a word in Chinese! Alright getting a little off topic, but moving on to the next question, where am I from? This may seem like an easy question to answer, however, in my case it can be quite complex and a mouthful. Usually I just tell everyone I'm from everywhere, but diving a little deeper, I must start a new sentence to explain. I was born in Taipei, Taiwan where I lived for three of my baby/toddler years. At the age of three, my family and I immigrated/moved to Vancouver, Canada where I then spent the next twelve years of my life living in igloos and riding polar bears. Just kidding, but I did spend twelve years of my life enjoying a carefree childhood and early adolescent years in that beautiful city. At the beginning of Grade Ten (and yes, instead of Sophomore year, we say Grade Ten, it's a Canadian thing got it eh? haha) I left my home behind and our family moved once again back to Asia, but this time, to Shanghai, China instead. After living there for three and a half years, my family has once again relocated back to Taiwan, where I then left to come here to BYU.
Wow, this post has been a lot longer than I expected to write, but I promise just a little more about me. I love to dance, I will dance to any kind of music or beat unconsciously. I currently just got into the Dance Education Major, but because I am an indecisive person, I don't exactly know what I want to do with my future just yet. My favorite fruit are bell apples, my favorite colors range from blue, purple, to green, turquoise, or neon colors..depending on my mood.
Finally, I love being here at BYU and meeting amazing people. I love my friends, and according to the BYU friends I have met here so far, I am CanAsian to them. ;)