Dialogue has impacted my religious experience a great deal. I recall reading Marilyn White’s article ‘Making sense of suffering‘ and coming across these lines: we must become ‘comfortable with not making sense of suffering’ and we must realise ‘that we don’t have all the answers and that contradiction and unfairness is part of mortality’. When I first read this, I had recently been called to a responsibility that would require me to serve a diverse group of people and respond with empathy and love to their pain and suffering. This article gave me a vision of how to best serve those suffering Saints that I would encounter and it prepared me to learn other lessons about empathy.
Additionally, I have seen material from Dialogue influence the lives of other people. Over the last nine months our ward has had a discussion group. Most of the articles we have used so far have come from the Dialogue back-catalogue. Following our discussion on ‘Women in the Church’, in which we considered articles from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Claudia Bushman, I have seen a noticeable difference in how often women are used as a source of doctrine in our meetings. A few of the participants have specifically told me that they feel the need to find and use literature from women in our lessons and classes. This may seem like a small change, and it is really, but it has had a positive impact upon how some of the women in our ward feel, and that is something worth celebrating. More than this, one participant enrolled in a college course because she felt that she was not fulfilling her potential as a result of something Claudia had written.
There are others who can express more eloquently than I why Dialogue is important, but I am convinced that this journal has articles, poetry and personal essays that will enrich and sustain the spiritual lives of those members of the Church who are inclined toward such things. There are still a few days left till Christmas and I am sure some of us have not completed all of our shopping just yet. This might be the perfect time to buy that Dialogue subscription for someone you know.