Friday, January 25, 2013

My Faith Journey: Part 1

{For this to make sense, you might need a briefing on my family: my parents got divorced when I was little and I grew up with my dad and stepmom. I consider all three of them - mom, dad, stepmom - my parents}

All of my parents were raised in the church, to varying degrees. I don't know all of the details of how they were raised, so a lot of this is just inferred  I think my dad's parents were not super active in the church, same with my stepmom. My mom's family was pretty classic Mormon with oodles and oodles of children who were all pretty active in the church through their young lives.

After my parents got divorced, there was a routine that my brother and I would go to my mom's house every other weekend. I do have early memories of attending church with my dad as a very young child. I can remember my dad dropping me off at nursery and telling me he would "be right back," so I would stop crying and go play. I know that we didn't attend regularly because I remember being in Primary and feeling really shy because I didn't know any of the other kids or the songs they were singing.

I was baptized when I was 8 and I had a pretty clear idea of what was expected of me. I remember trying to read my brand new set of scriptures... I started in Hebrews because Hebrew is one of the origins of my name.... big mistake!

I was aware that my family was Mormon. It wasn't until I was in about 2nd grade that I realized that not everyone was Mormon. I remember a primary program where kids got up and read stories about people making fun of them for being Mormon and how they stood up for what they believed. I was so confused because I didn't know that there were hundreds of different religions.

Even as a young child, I was aware that my family didn't live like the other families at church. One day at school, a friend told me that Mormons couldn't go to six flags. Later that week, at church, everyone was talking about how people think such weird things about Mormons, even though we're obviously just so normal, and I brought that story up - "Yeah, my friend thought that Mormons can't go to Six Flags!" As soon as I said it, my heart sank and I started to panic... maybe Mormons really aren't supposed to go to Six Flags and I just admitted something I shouldn't have. Luckily, the other girls giggled and agreed that it was silly.

I didn't like going to church. I didn't know anyone there, I didn't know my teachers, and I liked sleeping in and playing video games on Sundays. I was perfectly content to not go to church.

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