Week 5, Jehovah’s Witness

This week, we focused on Jehovah’s Witness. I thought I knew a bit about them before this week, but I was very wrong. Not only did I know very little about them, but most of the things that I had heard were totally incorrect! I searched for articles, but I ended up deciding to get my information straight from the JW’s official website. Some of the things that I found interesting, were that unlike popular belief, they don’t seem to believe that only a certain thousand number of people will be saved while everyone else will be burnt in a fiery hell. On their website, they stated that “billions” will be saved – something that I found interesting was that they put a number even as specific as “billions.” The others that do not make it back to God, due to their unbelief and opposition to God’s will, will simply “pass out of existence.” 

Another thing I found out about the JW church, was that they heavily disagree with divorce. However, if one of the partners is sexually unlawful, this is the only time that divorce is allowed. I absolutely see the requirement of loyalty and fidelity, but what about physical or emotional abuse? I thought it interesting that those things would not be considered before adultery. 

Other parts of our discussions mentioned a few fun facts – JW members do not participate in politics at all. They do not vote or run for any political office, however, they hold themselves to the standards of the law. They also do not allow blood transfusions, even if life depends on it. I found this to be very useful information, as I am going to be a nurse. Knowing more about this culture and religion will really benefit me in my future career as a nurse. They do not permit anyone to participate in war. A girl in my class mentioned that in South Korea, men are required to serve two years in the military. If any refuse, they are to spend those two years in jail, and this is precisely what JW men do. The life of being JW may often be challenging, and I respect the effort that they go through to live what they believe. 

Studies of the LDS culture

This week in my Transcultural class at UVU, we focused on the LDS culture. From a series of topics I chose to research the LDS guidelines of health and exercise. Being LDS myself, it was easy for me to understand the guidelines, so I chose something that was more of an experience article. I read an article about a woman named Jenny who was serving an LDS mission to an island off the coast of Madagascar. Since about the age of 12, Jenny was a little overweight and could not seem to slim to a healthy weight. Three weeks in the LDS Missionary Training Center, where there is food galore and not much physical activity, Jenny put on a few more pounds. Throughout her mission, she continued to gain weight and was slightly frustrated, but did not put too much thought into it. One day however, she was teaching a man about the “Word of Wisdom” with her companion. She taught things like, food intake should be in moderation, no excessive amounts of breads, grains, meet and an increase in fruits and vegetables. She also explained that the Word of Wisdom includes exercise to take care of our precious bodies. It wasn’t until she was explaining this that it hit her. She was not living what she was teaching. Right then and there she decided to live the Word of Wisdom to a T. She exercised faithfully every morning and lived the dietary guidelines that LDS church provides. Over the next few months, she lost over 40 pounds. She explained that not everyone who does this will lose weight, but there are multiple promises from the LDS church that say that taking are of our bodies helps us to live healthier lifestyles and feel better all the time.

The article was very interesting and insightful. Other discussions this week focused on the family according to the LDS perspective. Families are one of the basic building blocks in life and should be highly cherished. Marriage is defined as legal matrimony of a man and a woman. The LDS church says that God created men and women to bear and raise up children, and that is a sacred calling. Other discussions focused on the LDS church beliefs regarding the afterlife. It has been said that it depends on our works here on earth, but that we can all become like Gods and live happily with our families. That is why matrimony is such a big deal – it is not “until death do us part,” rather an eternal life with the ones we love.

All in all, the discussions and research about the LDS church have helped to further open my eyes to their beliefs and consider the benefits that come from living their “good” standards. I liked what I learned and it will be helpful to apply it to my nursing career – to understand why LDS church members live the way that they do and why they promote their way of living to those around them. 

Culture week 2

This week was focused on cultural diversity as a whole. We had some discussions as a class about what cultural diversity is and what can be some of the benefits of having a more diverse and different group when it comes to working together. I read an article that described the results of some studies done with culturally similar and diverse groups. When working together in projects with the same purpose, the groups that had little diversity got things done quickly – due to their similar understandings and backgrounds. It didn’t take much time for them to come up with solutions to problems, as they all had the majority of their lives in common. While they excelled, the more culturally diverse group showed much higher outcomes. While it took a bit longer to come to a consensus about different topics and understand the different perspectives of each culture, their outcomes were much more creative, superior, and well rounded than those of the other groups. Cultural diversity can be an adjustment, but in the end it can yield much better results.

Another thing that we did this week was watch the movie The Good Lie. Its true story of Sudan refugees that walked hundreds of miles across african deserts to find safety. Seeing the things that they had to go through – death, dehydration, starvation, attacks, disease, heat, etc. – shed light on the horrifying experiences that come with the culture. While they have many wonderful things in their culture, it was so humbling to see the trials that they go through. About half way through the movie, these “brothers” arrive in America and adjust to the “land of opportunity.” Their awe at the selfishness and independence of the American culture was amazing. The movie was definitely humbling to watch and inspiring as I was able to learn about the Sudan and African culture. There were so many things that they didn’t understand – even the basics of america. This will help me in my future nursing career to understand that there are even some layman terms that will need to be explained, and to not judge a lack of understanding. 

All in all, this week was great. I loved to see the movie and learn of the African culture. I love that feeling when you realize you have more than you need and are overwhelmed with gratitude for the things that you have. I have always wanted to travel to Africa and interact with their cultures to learn more about them, and this week helped me to do so.