So I try to stay away from hot button issues on this blog for two reasons. 1. I don't feel like its my place to push my beliefs or opinions on others. I don't appreciate when it's done to me (side-eye Tim Tebow...), so I don't wanna be THAT person. And 2. I don't want any backlash that may occur.
But this is something that's been on my mind more frequently lately. Especially now that I have a daughter. I want her to have a relationship with God, and I want to help nurture that relationship. Everybody who knows me in "real life" knows that I was brought up in the Mormon church, but I don't think it's something I've ever shared on the blog. When I was 4, my parents converted to the LDS church, and that was how I was raised until 17. We did all the things good Mormons do. No caffeine, no smoking, no drinking, modest clothing, church every Sunday, primary and young men and women on Tuesdays. I even received a calling to be the BeeHive President, and then Mia Maid Vice President when I was in young women. And then we moved to Utah.
My dad got orders to Hill AFB when I was 12. We were excited b/c we had been in SC for almost 9 years. That's an incredibly long time to be at any duty station, especially in the Air Force. We were also excited b/c we knew our church relationship would grow exponentially and we were looking forward to that. Unfortunately things didn't work out quite the way we thought. Living in Utah and practicing in Utah showed us a side of the church that we didn't like. We discovered some doctrine that we didn't particularly agree with, or believe in. About a year before we moved to NC, we stopped going to church as often. I still participated in young women, but my other siblings quit cold turkey. I had a harder time letting go. All of my friends were practicing Mormons, and it was the only religion that I really knew. When we got orders to NC we were thrilled. We're from NC, that's where all of our family is, and we had been away for so long that we were more than excited to be going home. When we got there, we didn't go to church at all. The church pursued us, but my parents made it very clear that we were to not be contacted by them again.
My parents never pressured me into leaving the church. I was 17, and more than capable of making this decision on my own. I struggled with it for a long time. I prayed, read my Bible, read the Book of Mormon, spoke to friends, and talked in length and depth about it with my mom. She really helped me understand some things that I was confused about, and encouraged me to do what I felt was best for me. After months of crying, and talking, I had finally made my decision. I was no longer a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And I was totally ok with it. I realized that the church didn't line up with my beliefs, and I couldn't be part of something that I didn't wholeheartedly believe in.
I am a member of the Methodist church now. My parents grew up Methodist, and when they left the LDS church, they went back. I love what they stand for, and how they believe. There are still parts of the Mormon church that I hold near and dear to my heart. I do truly believe that families are forever, but I don't believe you have to go to a temple or be sealed in order to stay a family. I do believe in a chaste and modest lifestyle, and try to practice that in my life, and will encourage my children to do so as well. But I also believe that gay men and women have the right to marry and have families of their own. I also believe that an occasional glass of wine or cocktail is ok. And I don't think a cup of coffee or maybe one day getting a tattoo will destroy my temple of a body. These may sound like petty things, but I didn't want to get into the heavier stuff :)
So our children will be raised in the Methodist church, with maybe a tad of LDS teachings thrown in there. I want my kids to come to their own conclusions about God and religion, and create their own relationship with their Heavenly Father. Charlotte and I have started reading the bible every night before bed. Its the last story we read. We're almost done with Genesis, and she really seems to be enjoying it.
I may not quote scripture in a Facebook status, end an email with a scripture, or forward on emails that try to guilt me into it by claiming that I'm a non-believer by ignoring it, but I am a christian and I do have a relationship with my Heavenly Father. It's not something that should be put on display by what I say, but by how I conduct and live my life. I think I'm doing an ok job so far. He hasn't informed me otherwise ;)
|This hangs in our living room, and can be seen from anywhere in the house. Its probably my favorite piece of decor, other than our family or wedding photos.|
I have no hard feelings towards the LDS church, and speak nothing but good things about it. There are many misconceptions about it, so if you have any questions or info you want clarified, please ask! Knowledge is the key to acceptance.