Sunday, July 15, 2012

Thoughts on Religion

Today my dear little Tyler duped me out of going to our own ward, claiming to be sick. To his benefit, he had a bit of a croup cough this morning, which is the only reason I gave in. However by about 10 am, he was fine so we (meaning I) decided we were going to Grandpa and Grandma's church. Much to Tyler's dismay. I think he had a fun time though.
There were a few thought provoking moments. During Sacrament Meeting, one of the gentlemen was talking about how his son and son's girlfriend had gotten into drugs pretty bad. The girlfriend died of a Heroin OD and even after going to rehab and cleaning life up, his son eventually got back into the lifestyle and died of an OD as well not too long afterwards.
This was thought provoking to me because it made me realize how much I have been blessed throughout my life. I've put myself in situations that could've really ended badly for me. Very badly. And although I've gone through my fair share of adversity, I have not had to go through the more painful consequences that could've resulted from my choices. In other words, I got off easy. I know people personally who have died as a direct result of their choices, some of which were not too far off of my own. I can't help but wonder why I was so lucky?
We also had the same lesson as I had in my own church last week about being truly converted to faith, with an open heart and mind and being able to do missionary work as members of the church. I learned of a beautiful scripture... Alma 29: 1-5.

O that I were an angel and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
Yea I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.
Yea, I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knowth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.

I hesitate to share my thoughts on religion with people because I truly don't know what my thoughts are most of the time. I don't know what to believe and have faith in. And its tough. But I do know that when I see friends who struggle and express how much they wish all of the pain could just be taken away, the first thing that pops into my head is the atonement. I know that they could be freed of their pain and suffering if they could just hand it over to the Lord.
I know that if someone is struggling with something in their lives, if they could just have the faith to say a prayer diligently and be open to recieving the answer, they would know the right way to go.
So why can't I say it?
There is fear involved. Not wanting my friends to think I am pressuring them or preaching to them. There is also a lack of knowledge. On times that I have been questioned about my faith, my answers have been slow and awkward. I don't even understand it so how could I explain things to someone else? On the flipside, how selfish is it of me to hold back something soo precious and sweet, that I know could benefit someone else's life immensely?

So...thank you to everyone (my family especially) for hanging in there with me through my tough times. Your an example to me in the way I want to live my life, have dealings with others, and how I want my future marriage to run. I can't thank you enough for your part in the whole deal. Moving onward and upward always....

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