Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thank You Thursday

Meet Rachel Esplin
I just did and I love this girl!
Of course, I already knew that great things come from Blackfoot Idaho.
That's where Mr. Mark was born and raised.

On September 23, 2008, five Harvard undergraduates were interviewed by journalist for the Washington Post, Sally Quinn, about their religious convictions. Students represented Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, Presbyterianism and Buddhism.
The Harvard Chaplains hosted this Interfaith Event where Rachel Esplin, a 20-year old Harvard junior, spoke on a panel of faith about her Mormon beliefs, upbringing, and faith in Jesus Christ and the restoration of the gospel.

The panel discussion was titled “Engaging Religious Difference: Personal Quests for Purpose” and was part of day long series of events on “Faith Live on the Harvard Campus:
Personal Quest, Public Conversation, and Global Citizenship.”
Rachel Esplin, an undergraduate studying East Asian Studies, was asked to explain her background growing up in a small town in Idaho, and how coming to Harvard has impacted her religious views and convictions.
I'm sure you'll agree, she did an amazing job sharing her beliefs to others in universal terms with beautiful conviction.
Some of the questions posed to Rachel were:
  • What does religious diversity mean?
  • What does it mean to be in a secular environment?
  • What does it mean to come face to face with what I don’t know and what I have to learn?
She did a beautiful job answering those questions and eloquently expressed that coming to Harvard has actually strengthen her faith by working through those issues. As she has had the opportunity to learn about other faiths, her own faith has been strengthened.

Day of Faith: Personal Quests for a Purpose

Rachel Esplin from Harvard Hillel on Vimeo.
Rachel is President of the Harvad Latter Day-Saint Student Association

I love that we can share religious beliefs and learn from each other. Here in Houston we have an Inter-Faith Group called The Amazing Faiths Project.

The Amazing Faiths Project is a movement that brings together people to learn about the beliefs and faith traditions of others through exploration and dialogue; to foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding; and to stand as a witness for tolerance and justice.

Our Church is hosting the next gathering May 7th.

"The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light."

--Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Infinite Power of Hope", Ensign, Nov 2008, 21–24


Holly and Brad said...

Blackfoot ID huh? I bet he knows the Van Orden's then?? I met and became friends with Britni at BYU...we worked at the same tanning salon ;) Although she is back in ID we still try and keep contact with eac other...she was just sealed to her daughter and husband a few months ago, I was so happy for her. Anywho, you might ask Mark if he knows/remembers the Van Orden's. Happy Thursday!

Dottie said...

She's remarkable. What a great idea to have that panel. The whole concept is refreshing.

The Chrissy Herself said...

That was extremely inspirational. I see a future BYU professor of religion on our hands... (she'll just have to change her mind about not wanting certain "dogmatic ideology" that comes with living in Utah. But we all get past that at some point ;)

stblooms said...

Very interesting and even more so very inspiring.

dreamit said...

What an amazing girl. Love that your area does that inter-faith meetings. I thinks it's wonderful.

sewpink said...

I love this post. Very inspiring.

Andrea said...

She seems really cool!

I think my grandpa was born in Blackfoot...

stblooms said...

I love her too. That was fun to listen to.