The point of this 'journal entry' (because that's what this blog is to me) is to remind myself why I became a Mormon.
As a child, I had this urge to go to church. My family didn't go, and I had a desire to go. On the few occasions that I went, and with lots of pondering in between (and I mean lots. years), I slowly came up with what I thought about church and God and religion.
1. I didn't think it was right for someone to go to Hell purely because they were not baptized. There are so many people who have never heard of Jesus Christ let alone know that he asked they be baptized in order to enter Heaven. In my 6th grade brain (because this is the time I remember thinking about it the most) "That isn't fair"
2. My mother taught me to listen to my feelings. Not the "I am angry" or "that makes me sad" feelings. The ones that in my gut would tell me something was right or wrong. A specific memory, I was at Fred Meyers with my best friend and her family and we thought it would be SO COOL to dress up as the same thing for Halloween. "Lets buy them now!" "What a brilliant idea!" "I'm sure my parents will be okay with this and pay you back as soon as you drop me off!"... only, I wasn't sure. And as we walked out to the car with our oh so cool Halloween costumes, I stopped dead in the middle of the parking lot because my feelings told me something wasn't right. From the doors of Fred Meyers to the door of the car I fought with these feelings. I wanted to do something fun but it didn't feel good. I politely asked if we could return to the store and take it back. And I'm glad I did. My mother taught me to listen to those feelings and act on them. And I did.
The first time I went to a Mormon church was when I was 17 years old. I started dating a boy who was LDS and at this point in my life, I was looking for a church. I wasn't actively looking. But thinking back, I was looking and didn't know it. We sit in the pews and the feelings I have are those of excitement of a new environment, shyness, and an over-whelming feeling of calm. The calm was what stood out to me. During that first visit, words were put to something I had already formulated in my mind and strongly believed. That 'feeling' I followed was the impression of the Holy Ghost. Finally, someone gave words to something so important to me. I know other Religions believe in the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit but this was the first time it was talked about.
I was excited to ask my boyfriend more about his religion. If his religion could describe one thing I believed, maybe his religion could describe others too. And sure enough, it did. There were times during my discussions with the Missionaries that they would teach me something and I didn't need to think about whether I believed it. The spirit was SO strong and bore such a powerful witness to me, that I accepted that concept and we moved on to the next. It would feel like they were teaching me things I already knew. (Even though I had only been to church a handful of times with friends, and had only read Genesis and Exodus in the Bible). Other times, they would teach me something and I would have lots of questions. Never did I feel like a concept was a "make it or break it " idea. This is not to say that I have never struggled with a concept in my church. There have been times that I had to really ponder and question, to be sure I believed. In the end, all I can say is, no matter how much I struggle or how far I fall, I can NEVER deny the spirit I have felt and the things it has witnessed to me. I may fall away or become complacent with life (I hope never to be these), but never can I deny that spirit. Once you know Christ is true and that he is your savior and that he died for YOU, you can never "un-know" this. It will always be in your mind.
This is my testimony. I am a child of God. I gained my love of Christ at the age of 17. I still struggle and learn what the Love of Christ has done and is doing for me. The spirit of the Holy Ghost has bore witness to me that the Book of Mormon is true. I know Christ has risen from the dead and made it so that someday, I too may regain my body and become perfect through him. I know that if I make a mistake, I can repent and be forgiven. I know that my baptism was the first step towards living with Heavenly Father again and that I must constantly remember Him and keep Him in my life. I know that my children are happier and my home is happier when I am doing the things to keep Christ in my life. I know that the scriptures are there for ME and are for me to search and ponder. They are not a milestone to be met. Reading them is not a milestone. Reading them makes me better. A happier person. A more forgiving person. A more forgiving mother and wife. I know that having the Priesthood restored to the Earth is important and I am blessed because of the men in my life who stay worthy to hold that power. Priesthood power is from God. I want my children to know that I love the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I want them to know that I am not perfect and that I need His help. And most of all, I want my kids to know the love of Christ and the comforting feeling of the Holy Ghost. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.