Saturday, August 7, 2010

Old Jerusalem Treasures...

We opened up this store in April, and let me tell you, it's an interesting time to be in the retail business, especially the religious aspect of it.  Opening the store has been quite a learning experience for both Todd and I.  We have had so many different reactions to our store in the mall.  Most of them have been positive, however, I think that some of the things we have heard are just so interesting, I wanted to write them down so we can look back at them and laugh in a few years from now. 
First, you wouldn't believe how many people come by the store and say angry things about the "Jews".  Most of them are young people, and it's crazy how "anti-Jew" they are.  Where are they getting this from?  We kinda think it's funny that they think that Jews own the store just because it says Jerusalem in the name, like that's all there is in Israel are Jews--hello?  Almost everything in the store is Christian in nature--including most of the window displays.  I guess they just think the Jews are trying to make money off of the crazy Christians.  Whatever.  Pay attention to your kids--and ask them their attitudes toward "Jews"--I wonder what they would say?  Do they know about the Holocaust?  About Hitler?  About what these people have been through?  If not, take the time to tell them--you might be surprised how little they actually know...I was.
Second, you wouldn't believe how many people are so blatantly "anti-Mormon".  We had one guy after seeing a bust of Joseph Smith made from olive wood on a wall with sculptures of the Savior, say, "I can't believe someone would put THAT MAN on a wall with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ".  Like he was some sort of human vermin or something.  We have also had people who find out the employees are LDS and walk out of the store all together.  What is that about?  Do you ask what religion the person who owns JC Penney is before you buy something--I mean really?  Something I find interesting is that some Christians sure don't have a very Christian-like attitude when it comes to Mormons.  It's very sad I think.  We are LDS, but in setting up the store, we put a lot of thought into making the store very friendly to every religion.  You can find Christian, Catholic, Baptist, LDS, Jewish, even Muslim items in our store.  In this way, we think it resembles the feelings we had while in the Holy Land.  People from every religion live there, and worship in their own way, and yet find ways to live in peace and get along with each other.  Sometimes, I realize there are conflicts, and there is certainly much to disagree on when it comes to doctrine and the like--but we are really shooting ourselves in the foot when we only see the bad in a religion, any religion. 
Third, when you are born and raised in a religion, and it's the only religion that you know, it's really hard to talk to people that are in a different religion when you don't know the language.  Yes, we Mormons have our own language--it includes words and phrases that others wouldn't have a clue about, like "mutual", or "lengthen your stride" etc...  I could go on and on, and so could you if you think about it.  Todd came home one day and says, "What is the rapture?".  I had no idea.  We had to google it and learn about it since he had so many people who would come in and talk to him about it.  He, and the employees have been making an effort to learn the "lingo" of other religions if you will.  Along with being respectful of other religions, I think it also helps to make an effort to learn all you can about them.  It helps to try to understand people, and where they are coming from.  We have actually enjoyed that aspect of the business, and learning that there are MANY good, God fearing people from all religions out there!  That is a good thing--(even if they hate Mormons)!
Fourth--what a nice thing it has been to see our friends and neighbors at the store!  Thank you for your support, and your kindness!  It has been fun, especially for Todd, to have a business where people can come in on a HAPPY day and talk and visit!  He was so tired of only seeing people at work when someone had died--and it was under such sad circumstances.  This business has been a breath of fresh air I think for all involved.  Although the economy isn't the best, we are holding our head above water, and hoping for a good Christmas season like every other retailer out there!  Hope to see you there--we sure have some fun stuff!

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