Thursday, August 15, 2013

[Religion] The one about Mormons...

Hello Friends,

What I say on this blog is never meant to offend or to hurt anyone or anything. These are my thoughts, this is my venue, and I am permitted to speak my mind.

I just want to say something that I don’t usually say outside the Camp Hill chapel. I keep it fairly private (mostly because it means so much to me and I hate for people to treat it with disdain, condescension, and even suspicion) so not many people know the details of my faith but I want to explain why I believe what I believe. It is not because I was raised as a Mormon, thought that naturally plays a part. It is because of what being a Mormon means that I remain one.

There have been several times in my life where I struggled with leaving the church and sometimes for months at a time I stopped attending. I wanted to “experience” life differently. I wanted to be with someone. I wanted to get away from imagined drama. All of these excuses shook me hard, but not hard enough for me to ever throw away the last little bit of faith I had left. Today I am filled with gratitude that I did not leave. That I clung to this faith despite the painful predicaments I found myself in.

The story of the Mormon faith may seem like some strange fairy tale to those who hear it for the first time, or to those who have only heard bits and pieces. I’ll agree that the thought of God and Jesus appearing to a 14 year old boy in the middle of a forest can seem like something people would doubt. I want it to be known that I don’t doubt it. I believe it. 

I believe God is real, I believe his Son is real, I believe the Holy Ghost is real and he dwells with me daily. I believe they are all separate beings and the Father and the Son have real flesh and blood bodies. 

I believe that they established the true church on the earth twice, the first time with Jesus's time on earth. The second when Joseph Smith reestablished it under his direction. 

I believe that through the restoration many important and wonderful things that were lost during the Dark Ages were restored. Among them the Priesthood, the authority and power of God. I believe through the priesthood power miracles occur on the earth each and every day. I believe that through this power families can be sealed together so they can be together eternally and have eternal progress. 

I believe that Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane for all our physical, spiritual, and mental pains and sins. I believe he died on the cross to finish that atonement. 

I believe all of this and more. I wish I could say everything that is in my heart but I can't put it to words.

I realize that while I have outlined some basic beliefs I have yet to mention really WHY. Well here it goes.

Because of my faith I have lived a life free of addiction, abuse, and too much exposure to the nasty that goes on the world. Some would call me sheltered, and I may be (though I am by no means naive). I would prefer to think of myself as free. I am free of the chains that weigh people down. I have seen too many people leave their faith on a journey of "self-discovery" or in an effort to "embrace life". I have seen them slowly make more and more decisions that lead them into the arms of depression, suspicion, and self-justification. Meanwhile my faith has ended my three year battle with bulimia and my seemingly endless one with depression. I'm not exaggerating. My faith ended my depression without medication or really anything else. Now there are only residual shadows left and they are so very easy to squash. That was a battle of almost seven years! Ended the year I decided to fully embrace and live my faith.    

Another reason I believe what I do is because of the knowledge. I have never known of a faith that was more clear and defined. I know exactly what the nature of God is, I know what he has in store for me. I know where I am going after I die. I know what choices will take me to the place I wish to be. I know death is only temporary. I know that this little bit of life is a drop in an ocean. I know we aren't going to be sitting around playing harps. I know that there is good honest work to be done. I know how this universe began, and I know I am not alone. I am never alone. If there is anything I don't know I know how to obtain that knowledge and it has worked. I've felt the spirit of God in my life literally educate me and expound the truth to my heart. 

This doesn't even begin to scrape the surface my full testimony or of Mormonism. I just think I should make it known more often that I am not Mormon by default. I am Mormon by choice. If any of you have any questions I will do my best to answer. If any of you ever want a Book of Mormon, just ask. If you ever want to come to church or any kind of church related activity I would love to have you. If none of you ever show any interest in my faith than I am perfectly okay with that as well. I love you all regardless you crazy sinners ;) (That was a joke, I don’t think you’re sinners. I think everyone is entitled to live their life the way they choose. Crazy sinners).



P.S. It hurts me deeply that anyone will think less of me for these beliefs but I feel like I should let it be known that they are mine. Please treat them with respect. 

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