One big misunderstanding / by James Curran

My name is Kristen, I live in Utah, and I am starting to write occasionally for Jamesthemormon’s blog. I’m here to talk about the Trash vs. Treasure showdown of 2016, which is just a little touchy.

I feel like the older I get, the more I understand celebrities and their breakdowns. Even on a good day, I find myself seconds away from shaving my head and attacking someone with an umbrella (thank you Britney Spears.) Amanda Bynes, one of my favorite downward spirals to follow, has a wonderful A+ teen romcom called “She’s the Man.” You may have heard of it.

In one scene, Bynes’ character was being sarcastic when she said, “Speaking as a completely objective third party observer with absolutely no personal interest in the matter…” She definitely had interest and was not completely objective.

I feel like this is what I am trying to do here today. I am attempting to speak as a completely objective third party observer with absolutely no personal interest in the matter. But like, I’m a little interested and and I’m slightly objective.

Please, hear me out.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” -Tyler Glenn/Jamesthemormon/Old English Proverb

One line has been at the front of such a large misunderstanding, which I know was never the goal of anyone involved. Before diving into my purpose of this post, I’d like to just break it all down with a reader’s digest version of the event (with a little help from James.)

Treasure is a song that was released by Jamesthemormon on May 16, 2016. This was right after Tyler Glenn released his own single, “Trash.” Glenn’s song depicts his own message and to express his feelings.

“The purpose of Treasure was to invite all people to treat each other as equals, with more love, and to proclaim that at least I believe that all people on this earth are equally Treasure in the eyes of God.” -JTM

Just like how “Trash” was a depiction of Tyler Glenn’s feelings, Jamesthemormon has said that Treasure is his personal way to “offer out a hand to anyone hurting, and to say to those people that I empathize with them and that I fall and I hurt too.” Both songs have a message, and both have a purpose.

“The weekend before Treasure was released, I did a Facebook live video inviting anyone who also believed that all people on the earth were Treasure to come to the Provo temple. They could get their picture taken for free holding a sign saying ‘I’m treasure’.”

Unfortunately, the purpose behind the song and video were not fully understood. An article was released on a website with reasons as to why this meetup at the Provo City Center Temple shouldn’t happen. James’ approach to sharing love and his own message was being seen as an attack on Tyler Glenn and his approach at sharing his feelings and thoughts.

“I was pretty shocked when people saw this as an attack or anything negative.
I took a step back and because I saw that my intent was misinterpreted I decided to call off the event and instead release the official video with clearer wording.” -JTM

This post wasn’t written to compare sides, to start a fight, or even to touch on Glenn’s song, “Trash.” This was written to bring light to what James’ intentions and purpose are.

“As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints I made a commitment to “mourn with those that mourn.” That is what I was and am still trying to do.” -JTM

I (Kristen) am a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is something that I feel so comfortable saying; there is no doubt in my mind that I have a Heavenly Father that knows and loves me personally. Our gospel is centered on Christ, a beautiful plan of happiness, and eternal families. It’s the best.

Growing up, I’d like to think my mom tried her best. She wasn’t the snuggly, make-afternoon-snacks, and talk about life type of Mom. It was a rougher relationship with a lot of anger and misunderstanding. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually it was rough in our home. Honestly, life is hardly easy. Most of the time we just have to make do, and I think that’s what she was trying to do.

She was a member of the LDS church, but she left the church and our home shortly after I turned 12. For me, going to youth activities and other events was always difficult, as we focused on the fundamentals, including family. It was oh so easy to feel like there was something wrong with my mom, myself, and my family. It almost seemed like there was a beautiful puzzle that all of my friends and their families fit into, but not mine.

My mom and I are as different as they come. There are just so many paths in this world, and we just happened to go in opposite directions.

I am in no way comparing my Mom and my relationship to someone else’s trial. I am, however, saying our Heavenly Father loves us equally. Anyone who might say differently is wrong, point blank. The choices her and I both make may define our lifestyles but they most certainly do not define the love our Father in Heaven for the two of us. While the love is so unique to each and every one of us, it remains the same in its power and its ability to be all encompassing.

Despite our very differences, I would still go up to bat for my mom no matter what. Because I love her.

That is what “Treasure” is all about. It’s not a diss track or about comparing trials. It’s about love.

The misunderstanding behind “Treasure” and its message was unfortunate to say the least.

“My hope is that anyone seeing the video can see my true intent, and that it can be used as a missionary tool to show what we are members of the church truly believe; we know that every soul is seen equal as a treasure in God’s eyes.” -JTM

At the end of the day, no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you believe in, there is one constant underlying truth: Love has been, continues to be, and will forever be the answer.

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you." John 13:34

I know that I can speak for James and myself when I say that I hope that all can listen to Treasure and feel the love that not only we have for you, but the love that our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of us.

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King Jr.

By Kristen Walker

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. If you’d like to write in please email contact@jamesthemormon.com

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