I was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My parents were baptized in the church before they were married. I have belonged to the Mormon faith for as long as I can remember. However, despite being raised in a different religion, I still can’t help but be grateful for my Catholic ancestors. They have,undoubtedly, shaped who I am today.
When my parents decided to accept the invitation to become members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, my grandparents were unsure of their choices. My fathers’ parents were active members of the Catholic faith and were leaders of a group called “Couples for Christ.” Despite my grandparents’ confusion, my parents went on to be baptized.
Fast forward a few years and we were born. I can still recall the happy childhood memories that we had in our grandparents’ home. Inevitably, there were times when I noticed some differences, such as the way we conducted our prayers. My grandparents make the sign of the cross, something that my 1st grade classmates also did whenever we prayed at school, and whenever I woke up early, I would often see them kneeling and praying the rosary.
However, despite the differences in our respective faiths, my Catholic grandparents imparted to me valuable lessons that I still carry with me to this day.
The Value of Prayer
“Kahit anong mangyari, apo, pray lang always. Nakikinig ang Diyos sa’yo. Magdasal ka lang parati.” I can’t count the times that I have heard this reminder from my Lolo and Lola. Their faith in the power of prayer was so strong; it was evident in the way they lived their everyday lives. Whenever we shared our plans, hopes, and dreams with them, they would always respond with “Sige, ipagdadasal natin yan.” Their example will always remain a sweet reminder to me of how prayer indeed gives help.
The Importance of Family
The Filipino culture is known to emphasize the importance of the family.. Kahit anong mangyari, importante ang pamilya. I am confident that the Catholic faith,, a prominent fugure here in our country, has greatly contributed to this precious tradition. To my Catholic ancestors, respecting elders, honoring parents, bringing honor to family, and living the values of a good Christian family member were very important. Despite their age, my grandparents always made sure that we knew how much they loved us. In their latter years, even with physical difficulties, they would often come to events that were important to us. Through and through, pinakita nila that family is important.
The Blessings of Honesty
My grandfather lost his job when he was just in his 40s, because he did not want to take part in a scheme that he considered dishonest. He quit his job to protect his integrity even though it meant that his family will have financial constraints. My grandfather’s example in upholding honesty is a powerful lesson to this day. Because of his honest dealings with other people, he was richly blessed until his last breath.
Serving the Lord
Being members of “Couples for Christ,” I was able to see how my grandparents served others. They were always so concerned for their brothers and sisters. They held prayer meetings at home, they welcomed anyone who was hungry or thirsty, and they loved to talk to people. They enjoyed life the most when they served other people and the Lord.
How to Love
Perhaps the best thing that my Catholic ancestors gave me was the endless example of how they showed their love. They loved, not only in words, but in actions. To them, love was praying for their children and grandchildren, giving surprise gifts, offering useful advice, telling people they loved them, and being completely selfless despite their age. I am eternally grateful for their examples.
I am a Mormon in the Philippines. Statistically speaking, I belong to the 6% who does not belong to the Catholic faith. Because of this, people always assume that I don’t know a lot about the Catholic religion. Little do they know that I was also taught by Catholic grandparents, whom I love and respect with all my heart.
Daily, I am surrounded by the almost 86% of the Philippines who are Catholic. Like my ancestors, these wonderful Catholic people are also strong examples of faith that I try to follow in my life. Indeed, I am grateful that the Philippines is the largest Christian nation in Asia, thanks to the Catholic faith. And because of this, living my beliefs isn’t that hard anymore.
Yes, I am a Mormon and I am eternally grateful for my Catholic ancestors.