Friday, February 20, 2009

"Why I go to church"

LDS news just posted this article from the Sacramento News Review. The writer seems to have lived my life (with some variations).

I've come to realize how UN-unique I am in my life path, but it still feels good to read someone's point of view that so perfectly mirrors my own. I cut out the portion that really summed up my feelings and posted it below. The whole article is HERE.

By Rachel Star Gillis
I grew up in the LDS Church...and stopped going at age 14. Then, at 20-something, I was looking for a less porn-filled dating scene.

After going to church a few times, I remembered the typical convert’s story—“I read the Book of Mormon, prayed and found out that it was true.” They always seemed so sure of this, like they had no doubts. I figured, why not? I’ll try it.

Let me first make a disclaimer by saying that a conversion experience is different for everyone; what works for me probably wouldn’t work for you, and vice versa.

For me, one day something seemed to click in my mind, and suddenly it was clear: Everything God has been telling us is true. All the guidelines—no drinking/drugs, no sex outside of marriage, etc.—had always seemed so restrictive, but suddenly I saw that God was just giving us a way to stay out of trouble.

Thoughts lead to action; if you control your mind, you control your behavior, which in turn could prevent a lot of heartbreak.

There are so many major life problems that could be avoided just by following what God had been teaching for thousands of years. I felt like it was so obvious; D’oh! It was there all along.

Although these teachings are found in many religions, the LDS Church specifically makes sense to me. Besides having a feeling that I can’t really explain (I just know the Book of Mormon is true; you’ll have to find out for yourself), the organization and functionality of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints makes perfect sense to me, and I see a parallel between the way the church is organized and the way many things in nature are designed (don’t worry, I also believe in evolution).

I’m in my 30s now, and I still struggle with things like having faith and going to church...but I have no doubt that the religion is true and that church is the right place to be.