A brief report from the Makiki Ward in Honolulu

 

LDS Tabernacle, Honolulu
The Mormon Tabernacle in Honolulu, Hawaii    (Wikimedia Commons)

 

We attended services in the Makiki Ward today, in the Honolulu Stake Tabernacle.  (We passed on the chance to meet with the Marshallese ward in the adjacent chapel.  My Marshallese is . . . somewhat weak.)

 

I enjoyed being in a congregation that looked quite different from me.  The bishop had a Hispanic surname.  Almost all of the other names on the program and listed as ward leadership were either Japanese, Chinese, or Polynesian.  An older, bearded fellow sat next to me, wearing a yarmulke.  I was a bit puzzled, at first, but he sang all the songs, took the sacrament, said “Amen!” to every prayer and talk, and, afterwards, told me that he’s a member of the ward.  We spoke just a bit in Arabic, but he acknowledged that his Hebrew is better than his Arabic.

 

The first talk was by a teenage Polynesian girl.  The second was given in Chinese — at the request of the bishopric, the speaker said — with a young woman standing at the pulpit as translator.  The speaker told of growing up a Taoist.  God, for her, had been an object of fear.  But she found a loving God, a heavenly Father, in Mormonism.  She told, too, of reasoning her way into belief in the calling of Joseph Smith but then, as a young missionary, seeking and receiving a spiritual witness to undergird her logic.  The third speaker, husband of the second, addressed the topic of what we can learn about God from Joseph Smith’s First Vision.

 

We opted not to attend either the Mandarin Gospel Doctrine class or the Korean one.

 

I love to see the Church this way, where people of different languages and cultures and ethnicities come together in something far greater than any of our historic human divisions.  It’s a vision of the way things ought to be, and, I hope, of the future.

 

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.  (Ephesians 2)

 

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.  (1 Peter  2)

 

Posted from Honolulu, Hawaii

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