For the first time since the beginning of the school year I haven’t posted in over a week and I sincerely apologize for that.
Between school, work and trips to the Temple, I have been having the time of my life.
Back in August I start researching a prominent religion where I live. After some not-so-savory experiences with a particular member of this Church, I became afraid of it.
I picked it back up again in October when I was asking my roommates questions about what they believed and I started to read about it more online and continue with one of the books they treasure.
Sometime in January, I tweeted about how I wanted to believe in the higher power I was reading about but I thought faith was for people who needed comfort and I was afraid of it. The next day two nicely-dressed men knocked on the door looking for one of our roommates who had visited the “Visitors’ Center.” I asked if he had an extra copy of the book I had been reading since my original version was online and I am huge into physical copies.
I started reading that night, highlighting things I thought were interesting and writing down questions to prove the well-dressed men wrong.
The next day, my roommates and I spoke with them for three hours and set up a meeting for the next week. They gave me a pamphlet and asked me to read and to pray and, rolling my eyes into the back of my head, I said I would.
Of course I read the pamphlet. Of course I didn’t pray.
I went to the next meeting, again, ready to shove hard-core facts into their all-too-trusting faces but every time I asked a question, they too had facts with sources that were and were not connected to the Church and I started to look into it more.
And wouldn’t you know I also started to pray.
At first it was stupid little prayers in the elevator on the way to classes, then it was almost every night and I noticed the world around me changing, or maybe it was my perception of it. The best things started to happen to me — or that is I had just started to notice — and I felt happier overall.
We continued on for a little more like this, a battle of faith and fear, until one day I was with my roommate at the Temple and I turned to her and said “I’m afraid.”
She simply looked at me with wide eyes and asked why. I told her I was thinking about getting baptized.
If anyone knows me, my motto is “I don’t need organized religion; God doesn’t need organized religion. Man does.” But this was different. My whole life I had been waiting for this omnipotent entity to grip me by the shoulders and shake me and scream at me, asking me what I was doing with my life. What I hadn’t expected was the softest whisper to confirm my fears.
That God is real.
I asked the well-dressed men if I could get baptized. But I didn’t tell my parents.
The whole time I was researching, I had been putting on this front that I thought the whole idea was crazy. I didn’t want them to think that I was giving into peer pressure like my last roommates had. I was afraid they would hate me. I posted about it everywhere except for the sites I knew they followed me on.
And then they found out.
I spent that whole night crying. I didn’t know what to do, what to think, what to say. I love my parents. I love them so much. And I want them to know I’m happy, I’m not doing this for anyone but me.
So I prayed.
I just sat in bed, with tears running down my cheeks and snot out of my nose (I must have been a lovely sight for Heavenly Father) and asked what I should do, what I should say.
And then I just thought, everything happens for a reason. He has a plan for us, and this is my path.
I love my parents. I know they love me. I know this is confusing and hard, especially because of all the things I have told them about this religion trying to cover up this overwhelming fear that this belief I had tried to force my hate on because of one girl was real and that I believed and — what’s worse — I wanted to believe.
I’m writing this because this is my life and I share that with you guys. I’m getting baptized into a religion that I whole-heartedly believe is true and honest and good. I’m so happy. And that hasn’t happened for a long time – I haven’t been so genuinely happy in so long.
I’m also writing this for my family, whom to I don’t know how to say any of this out loud. I have always expressed myself better in writing. I don’t know how to explain what I feel, but I know I like it and I don’t ever want it to go away.
I’m sitting here, writing this, in tears. I don’t know how my family will react to this. I know they love me, I know they always will, but I also acknowledge that it’s hard.
To my parents: I’m sorry I can’t tell you this in person, on the phone, or on FaceTime. I’m scared I’ll disappoint you. I love you guys so much and I want you to know I’m so happy.
I love you most.