“When We Love and Serve, Our Differences Become Minor” – Robert & Vivian DeRosa on their Lives as Latter-day Saints
Vivian and Robert DeRosa with host Maggi Van Dorn (right)
In this latest episode of “Interfaith Matters,” Maggi Van Dorn talks with Robert and Vivian DeRosa, leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes known as Mormons. Robert is president of the Lynbrook New York Stake (a geographic area similar to a diocese or parish) that includes Eastern Queens and Western Nassau. Vivian is the leader of the young women’s programs.
On the origins of the word “Mormon”: “It’s a nickname people have given to us over time. It simply refers to the Book of Mormon and the person Mormon, who was the compiler and editor of 1,000 years’ worth of history [that comprise the Book of Mormon].”
On what attracted the DeRosas to the Mormon faith: “It answered so many questions that I had, and I realized this just feels like home. Families can be together forever… these relationships that we treasure so much in life continue.”
On diversity within the Mormon faith: “[In Queens alone], we have people whose place of birth is from 94 different countries … there’s a great diversity in the church. We have a core set of beliefs, yet there are cultural and ethnic differences that are wonderful, and that enrich our community.”
On shared Humanity: “We believe that our Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, that you and I are brother and sister. We don’t look at it as an analogy, or a simple way to explain a difficult idea – we literally believe we are children of our Heavenly Father.” “When we love and serve one another, that commonality is much stronger than whatever other differences that we’ve got.”
And a Special Invitation:
On March 18, Mandarin-speaking New Yorkers are invited to research their family histories at a Family History Discovery Day, held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 145-15 33rd Ave FLUSHING, New York from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. There is no charge for participating in the event.
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ICNY’s Interfaith Matters podcast series is co-produced by Maggi Van Dorn and Kevin Childress for The Interfaith Center of New York, and is made possible by the generous donations of people like you.