I love being mormon.
I know that that sentence can be easily misinterpreted in an emerging culture of 'accept everything graciously' and 'don't tell anyone what to do.' I go through phases where I try to be accommodating to my American culture, because there is a lot of good in it. It’s a welcoming culture for the most part, and it’s served some really great purposes like providing the American Dream of becoming who you want to and having the means to do so, and religious freedom, and freedom to write and say whatever you want. I love those parts of our culture. What is hurting me lately is watching those freedoms be twisted and therefore disintegrate under the pressure of trying to live without morals anymore.
So I woke up this morning so happy because I have this great religion. I was thinking how lucky I feel to be a part of it- to even know it’s out there as an option- to understand it when so many misunderstand it- to feel it is true in my heart when so many don’t know anything is true anymore. I was feeling so blessed that I believe in something that fills my soul’s hunger when so many are really searching for that missing piece of the puzzle that will make everything make sense. And I just thought- I truly love being Mormon. I love that it’s a global church and I feel it has the principles to help anyone in any situation figure life out. And figure out what you're individually suppose to do with yourself to be really happy.
Increasingly, shouting your love for your particular religion from the rooftops is extremely unpopular. Because it makes others feel like theirs isn’t true or because we are becoming much less open to freedom of religion in our culture than we used to be. It’s sad. Americans used to be a really faithful people. Now we are mostly clinging on to remnants of faith in ourselves and saying insincerely there must be a God out there somewhere but why isn’t he solving all these problems we have down here. We miss out when we fall into that trap. Heavenly Father is not the only one we forget about. Satan is alive and kicking as well and he is quite happy that his long hours and hard work is paying off. He is sucking us dry of our faith in the name of tolerance. There is such a thing as too much tolerance. Hello “post pregnancy abortion” and prostitution and pornography. It’s disgusting how we don’t even realize how far we have come.
So- this morning I woke up really loving being part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Everything that makes sense to me about life comes from the principles I learned from the gospel of this church.
I love waking up in the morning and having direction and purpose. I know I need to talk to God first. I know he has a plan for my day and that His Spirit will guide me through it. I know he loves me. That is priceless information everyone needs to know. You do not have to figure it all out on your own. I have scriptures that I read every morning that make life make sense. I have this knowledge of so many things that directs how I live that I totally take for granted. Like- I know right from wrong. I know not to gossip or let negativity drag me down to the pit of despair. I know when I make mistakes that Christ knows how to help me forgive myself and how to change so I don’t make that mistake again. Or if I do keep making it, because it seems to be an inherent flaw, then shows mercy and I keep picking myself off and he dusts me off and we try again. I know that my soul hungers for truth and I know where to feed it.
I know people have seen God. I know that he looks like a man, like my Father. I know that he created me. He created me, my children, he created the nature I love so much and he created the sun, moon, and stars that I stare at every day and that provide light to me. These things are firm in my heart. I KNOW them. I know when I have a problem that I can think in my heart to my Father- this is what is happening, this is what I think, please help me find a better way if this isn’t right. Or I can think to him in desperation to protect someone I love, or help me love someone who is frustrating, or help me forgive someone who has hurt me so I don’t have to drag around that yucky heavy feeling you have when you want to stay mad at someone.
But the biggest all around thing is- I KNOW God loves me. And everyone needs to know that. You need to know it by feeling it yourself. You need to know by a power that is not your imagination- you need to feel that power come from the great forces that we men cannot control. You need to know from the same power that created the science of sunrises and sunsets, and autumn, and the earth that revolves in this vast solar system that looks smaller with each new discovery. You need to KNOW when you look at your hands and your face in the mirror that God created that. And he doesn’t make mistakes. He made those hands. He made that crooked smile. He gives me a beating heart and breath. He loves me and that power needs to pass through a person every morning. Maybe every a few times a day. It is as real as living. This world needs to remember they are just children. In all the amazing wisdom and knowledge we have, as humanity, figured out and taught each other- the most important thing not to forget is who we are and that we are here because God is real, and he wants us to learn a ton and have great and terrible life experiences so we can grow up. We are weak now- anyone who catches the near-inevitable winter colds knows we people can be knocked off our feet in one day by this little infection. We are mortal and we are made to be because THIS is not our final destination. This is temporary. Life continues beyond this to something even the most beautiful sunset over Tahiti pales in comparison to. This stuff is real. And I’m so glad I know it.