So, I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay a Mormon. Not that I couldn’t change my mind. But that is my decision and I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m going to do.
I have been thinking about this for weeks, and trying to figure out how to put into words what I have been feeling. I have literally rewritten this post over 10 times trying to find the best way to explain this to all of you…and myself, and I still am not sure this post succeeds…but here I go anyway.
I guess it started with my post about being true to myself, and the feeling just kept growing that staying Mormon was the right choice for me because Mormon is just who I am. At first it seemed like it was too soon in this process to make the decision to stay Mormon, but I realized that I need to take a step forward. This journey has been stressful and the constant internal battle has been wearing on me. Life is too short for me to stay this miserable for very long. And lets face it, I may be crazy, but Mormonism just seems to be the cup of tea…I mean cocoa …that brightens up my day (that was a lame joke, I know). I want to be happy, and staying Mormon seems like my best shot at personal happiness, so I’m going to take the leap and take the baggage that is now going to come with that decision.
Why this decision?
I already mentioned that Mormonism is just kind of my happy place.
Then there is the wealth of experiences I have that have led me to believe in the doctrines and teachings of Mormonism. Now wait, you just posted about confirmation bias like 20 minutes ago, right Alicia? Yeah, I did. And I am fully admitting now that I really, truly, honestly do not know the Mormon church is true. And that has not been an easy pill to swallow. But Mormonism is beautiful to me. Where else am I going to go to church and have someone tell me that my family can be together forever? Where else am I going to get to go sit in a beautiful, white celestial room and contemplate life? And most Sundays that I go to church, yeah I leave with some frustration, but I also leave wanting to be a better person. I already have spent many hours serving the people in my ward since moving here, and this is service that I doubt I would have done had I not been at church. Sure the church isn’t perfect when it comes to helping the poor or lots of stuff like that, but it’s a community that takes care of its own and delights in community service–especially among members, and that is nice. I feel like I am a better person for being pushed to serve other people. I feel like there is a trade off, but for me, being Mormon is still worth it! And I can and will choose not to embrace the things I do not agree with, and hopefully that will help make it worth it too.
And you know what? I need the hope. I need to hope my family can be together forever, because I know I’m going to need that hope to get me through some hard times ahead. I need to hope that someone really is answering my prayers because prayer feeds my soul (or my proverbial soul, or whatever) and helps me make decisions. I need hope, and Mormonism I think can give me that.
But you know what else can also be good–uncertainty. Just like hope helps me get through life, uncertainty I believe will help me live life to its fullest, and hold tight to the things I love most, because if I am not sure there is life after this, I better make the very best of this life because there’s a chance it’s all I have. There’s no excuse to put off happiness or waste away life. I need to live life and embrace the joy in it, and I need to do that every precious day I have.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think what I need to do is embrace both the hope of the gospel and the uncertainty of life. And hopefully, somewhere in the balance of hope and uncertainty, I will find joy.