One America Voices Interview: April Cook

The One America Movement is excited to launch a new initiative called One America Voices. Once a week, we will publish short interviews with Americans from all walks of life. By hearing each other’s stories, we can begin to reduce the divisiveness and polarization in our society. Enjoy – share with your networks and on social media using the hashtag: #1AmericaVoices

April Cook

SE Michigan

Mother and Secretary: Board for the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit

1. Share the best “mom” moment you had in the past few years: 

A: I have three children: a 16 year old girl, 13 year old girl and 9 year old boy. We love to spend time together playing tennis and golf, board and card games, and just talking.We laugh and talk a lot. Within the scope of parenting our faith tradition teaches the importance of family time and spiritual guidance in the home. I really think that my best, high impact “mom moments” occur during our nightly, family scripture study and prayer. We gather together and read from the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price – these are the books of scriptures for our church. The most amazing and uplifting conversations come out of these moments. Frequently scripture study and prayer serve as a spring board to conversations about challenges at school and with friends. I know that I am teaching my children what matters most within our beliefs – to focus on long-term, eternal goals rather than in the moment, impetuous decisions. They enjoy our scripture study and prayer so much that they frequently instigate it and lead the discussion. I love knowing that my children want to confide in me and that they trust me. That they want to talk about what worries them and what is happening in their lives means that I must be doing something right as their mother.

2. Many Americans know very little about the LDS church. What would you like them to know about you?

A: I find that most people are not aware that the official name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The terms Mormon and LDS are more frequently used for brevity but that often leads many to think that we do not believe in and follow Jesus Christ. Every aspect of our faith centers on the life, teachings and atoning sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. We consider ourselves to be Christian and would very much like to be recognized within the umbrella of Christianity.

3. A movie was just made about Detroit’s race riots and the city has dealt with a lot of significant issues over the past decade. How is Detroit doing right now? Do you feel optimistic about its future?

A: I feel very optimistic about Detroit’s future. There is a great resiliency in Detroit and it’s people. Mayor Mike Duggan is leading a team that is making progress in recovering from bankruptcy while bringing business and infrastructure improvements to the city. Still, there is much to be done as is evidenced on the streets, in neighborhoods and the schools of Detroit. My hope also stems from the wonderful organizations, religious groups and individuals that are working so hard for the inner city. New Detroit, LifeBUILDERS Detroit, the Kresge Foundation and other non-profit organizations are doing fabulous things to help the city and it’s residents. My faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been implementing a program to teach and foster self- reliance within the city and outlying areas where there is great need. We also work with Catholic Charities, Samaritas (a Lutheran based organization), St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Jewish Family Services and others to foster change and to help overcome the challenges that have beset the city over decades of struggle. There is much to be done but the future is bright because so many optimistic people are working together to make wonderful things happen.

To learn more about the One America Movement, Click Here. 

To invest in our work to fight back against polarization, division and hate, Click Here. 

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