Why I’m Home in Community of Christ

30 05 2012

BY LARRY McGUIRE, president of seventy

I collect hats, and I display most of them in my garage.

I have hats from places I’ve visited, favorite sports teams or events, teams I coached while teaching in Florida, and a section from my father and grandfathers. I also have hats from my wife’s father and her grandfathers. I’ve received hats from family members promoting their businesses and hats from friends and the places they’ve traveled.

Each time I go into my garage, I see their hats and am reminded of their work and love for their family. I’m also reminded their hats are connected to a larger story, family stories, of a journey that continues to be relived in my life.

I was blessed to grow up knowing both sets of great-grandparents and grandparents. Migration from their homelands of Ireland, Germany, and England shaped their lives. They came to the USA seeking a better, more-secure life than in their native lands.

Arriving here, they experienced discrimination and ridicule for being poor and taking jobs no one else wanted. My great-grandpa, Albert, came from Germany. He found a job shoveling coal into the burners of a hotel in New York City for a few cents each day. He figured no one else would want the job, so he did the work.

I grew up hearing their stories of sacrifice and hard work. But they always included stories of how the gospel message of Jesus Christ meant everything to them, every day of their lives.

Many stories of the hats in my garage remind me of how they’re connected to my heritage of faith. I loved to hear family stories of how the gospel became real in their lives. They handed down their testimonies to me. I now have the privilege of sharing their stories as part of my story, which I joyfully share with you.

My heritage of faith humbles me, even though none of the stories is recorded in any history book. The testimony of people I read about in our record books and archives inspires me. I’m embraced by the simple stories of faith I hear as I travel and offer an affirmative witness that God is up to something in our movement today.

Some hats feel more comfortable to me than others. Some, I’ve never worn. Others show all the signs of wear. Every hat is important. I now realize they are not just hats hanging in my garage; they are symbols of stories of lives past that impact lives today.

I pray that is something my son will understand when I offer him a hat…a story…a life…hope. This is why I’m at home in Community of Christ.



2 responses

30 05 2012
Joy Dawson

Loved this article. And I will repeat Larry’s words “God is up to something in our movement today” because i feel that also.

30 05 2012

As a faith community we need to find a hat that embraces/symbolizes all of humankind. One that shows the inter-connectedness of every man, woman and child on this planet. One that shows how all of creation is interconnected.

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