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My good friend, Michael Wilcox, taught a powerful lesson several years ago that I have never forgotten.

From the picture above you will think the subject was math, but it wasn’t, it was religion.

Sometimes we become so defined by our own religion we don’t take the opportunity to see what we might be able to learn from someone else’s belief.  My friend gave a simple object lesson that taught a profound point.  He suggested that you take a simple mathematical compass and place the tip of one leg firmly into the center point.  That is you.  That is your religious belief.  For the object lesson to work you have to be firmly planted in your own religion.  Now, take the other tip and pull it out a bit and draw a circle.  Now, pull it out again, and draw another circle.  And another.  And another.  Now, look at the point of the first leg in the center.  Has it moved?  No, not one bit ––it stayed firmly planted.  But your knowledge has increased.

He asked what would happen if we were to approach religious conversations like that…with the intent of expanding our circle, not transplanting our belief system.

I was intrigued.

When I asked him about it in more detail he taught me a phrase that my heart was immediately drawn to ––holy envy.  He said, “I am a Mormon, but there is so much I admire in the Jewish faith, in the Muslim faith, in the faith of other like minded Christians, and in other religions across the world.”  He spoke of traditions that his family loves and practices that he has learned from friends of other religions.

Immediately I knew I wanted to practice holy envy too.

So I planted my foot in the center point.

And then I started drawing circles.

This has been an amazing year.  Grace and I have visited different churches ––South Mountain Community Church and Misseo Dei.  We went to our first Good Friday sermon.  We have learned to love Christian Worship music.  I have attended several conferences and last year I started to attend a weekly Bible study.

As my circles have grown I have started gathering…new traditions, new music, new friends.

By far, the greatest blessing has been the friends.

I have learned that I am a Mormon Girl with a Christian heart.

Interestingly, the more I learn and the more my circle expands, the more deeply planted becomes my center point.

Last year was a year of drawing circles.  I learned lessons that helped my heart to expand and my soul to enlarge.

But I want this year to be different.  It is my hope that this year will be a year of building bridges.  The kind of bridges that will connect those circles and allow others to travel safely there.

In an effort to start building I invited three of my friends to join me here on this page. All four of us are like minded believers…and all four of us want to become bridge builders in this community.

You can keep track of our journey here if you would like.  We will be blogging once a week, on Tuesdays.

Drawing circles.
Building bridges.

And talking about the lessons we are learning along the way.

Perhaps you would like to join us…

just plant your foot in the center point, and then start to expand your circles.

Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman took her first creative writing class in high school and has loved writing ever since. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. She is the author of several books, including The Peter Potential: Discover the Life you Were Meant to Live; 21 Days Closer to Christ; and Written On Our Hearts. There is nothing Emily enjoys more for breakfast than a bowl of coconut ice cream, strawberries, and toasted coconut. Other favorites include parades, vacations, firework displays, and going for a long walk with a good friend. Emily and her husband, Greg, live in Lehi, Utah, with their four children, whom she adores.
Emily Freeman
Emily Freeman

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