Midlothian Mormons unite with other faiths

Speakers from the Women of Faith event for International Women's Day.
Speakers from the Women of Faith event for International Women's Day.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Dalkeith welcomed people of many faiths to celebrate International Women’s Day recently.
Women from the different faiths including Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Christian & Baha’i, who spoke on the theme of ‘Women of Faith Who Inspire Me.’

Nila Joshi of Loanhead, represented the Hindu faith and spoke first, teaching about her beliefs before sharing words in Sanskrit. Nila heads the Edinburgh Women’s Interfaith Group and organises Interfaith events.

Sally Day, a Buddhist, spoke next about Sister Chan Khong, a Buddhist nun who has devoted her life to service and who teaches mindfulness meditation practice as a key to living a life of giving and serving.

Ruth and Rachel Shanks, LDS girls aged 10 and 12 respectively, read the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish Queen who saved her people. They were followed by Rebekah Sneddon (10) and Millie Donaldson (9), also LDS, who read a story of faithful mothers teaching their sons to trust in God and keep their promises.

Katrina Campbell is a Latter-day Saint mother of five from Bonnyrigg. She spoke about many of the women who have inspired her throughout her life, including her mother and grandmother.

Yvonne Cassidy is a Baha’i. After sharing some of the story of Baha’ullah she went on to speak about a woman in the early days of the Baha’i Faith, Táhirih, who had courageously challenged the culture of the time by not wearing a veil and by directly addressing men. She was later executed and has been referred to as the first women’s suffrage martyr.

A musical number was then provided by some of the girls and ladies of the Dalkeith Ward of the LDS church. The choir ranged in age from seven to over 70.

Chantal Robertson of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, focussed on Joan of Arc as an inspiring example. She shared details from Joan of Arc’s life.

The final speaker of the evening was Sue Cotterill of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. She spoke about her spiritual path and how Buddhism and mindfulness has transformed the way that she lives, and how being a Druid has confirmed her deep feeling of connection with the earth, nature and all humanity.

Jennifer Middleton, a member of the LDS church in Dalkeith, said: “I think it was so enlightening and uplifting, to sit there, in our own church building and hear the testimonies and experiences of women of very diverse faiths, of which I knew very little.

“It was so good to reflect on our similarities of purpose in coming to experience what our faith means to us all. There was such a feeling of love and unity in the chapel.”