Live your truth.
This is the only way to be and here is my truth.
I grew up in a loving home full of chaos, tragedy and heartache. Attending church each week gave us stability. It gave me something strong to hold onto. But I’ve always been the type of person who cared too much about what everyone thinks. I need to be liked and being a Mormon was not always the cool or popular choice. Even in Utah where Mormons grow on trees, there was still pressure to be different and it got the better of me. One day my family just stopped going to church and instead of being the encouraging one, I went with the flow, secretly happy I could now sleep in on Sundays. Maybe we were sick of being the ones without the pretty church clothes or being the ones who were always late or had enough of being the poor ones that benefited from fast offerings. I was a Beehive but never a Mia maid or Laurel.
Going to church doesn’t come easy for anyone. You need to put the effort in. Who wouldn’t want to just take the easier option? In my family effort was getting up to change the TV channel. For my mom effort was getting five little kids ready for church. Harder still was convincing five older kids to go to church. (Mom, I am now at this stage with my kids and it breaks my heart when they chose to stay home with W). And Sometimes effort is just willing yourself out of bed in the morning.
I tried to come back a few times but for whatever reason, it didn’t stick. That is until many years later, as a mother of two, I fell in a messy heap on my kitchen floor one morning. I had a child who just started school and I had another who had just turned one. My muggle (non-member folk) husband, came downstairs ready for work to find me sitting on the kitchen floor crying uncontrollably over a half-empty box of cereal. I had completely lost the plot.
At that moment, I felt how invisible I had become in my own life. Call it sadness. Call it depression. Call it anxiety. But the truth was I was spiritually starving myself and denying myself what I needed in life. I let the world tell me who I was and I listened, I believed it and fell flat on my face.
What I now know for sure is this…
I need my Heavenly Father, I need to say my heartfelt prayers out loud, I need to read my scriptures daily and I need to push my reset button every Sunday by taking the sacrament and attending my meetings. I am not perfect. I am far from it. But gone are the days where I was afraid to move from the same spot I was standing in for fear of churning up the people’s lives around me. It’s so important to ‘live your truth’ even if it means wanting different things from the person you love.
SO I CAME OUT.
I came out to myself first, then my husband. Told him I needed the church in my life. This changed everything. I was not the person he married. We struggled, we fought and amazingly we pushed through our differences. I came out to friends and what I learned was most people liked me for me and didn’t care if I chose to go to church. New friends that I meet now know that I’m Mormon. I own it. But there was a time not that long ago when I use to hide it, afraid of admitting to the world who I was. No one wants to be the weird one, the odd one, the one people whisper about. For some people I meet now, I’m the first Mormon they’ve met. I make it my business to set the bar high.
I’ve been back at church now for six years and not faltering. Loving my callings, loving the people I serve with and happy to serve the Lord. Earlier this year I came out to the world with this public blog purposely putting a Mormon label on myself.
So I know who I am and I know what I want out of life…But here is where a struggle lies within, a struggle the world seems to be having at the moment no matter what religion you are dedicated to.
Here in Australia, we are about to go to a vote. A vote for EVERYONE to decide whether same-sex couples can legally be married. My religion tells us marriage is between a man and a woman only. I love my religion but I don’t share the same views on this subject and I don’t have too. Elder Christofferson stated that members would not be disciplined should they wish to support same-sex marriage. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XybDk3CEoHg from 4:10)
I believe some people are born gay. So if God made you that way then why would he ask you to be something different? God wants us to be happy. He wants us to be respectful. He wants us to serve each other, help each other, lift each other.
I’m not here standing on my soapbox to say what is wrong with my religion or religion in general. We need to surrender ourselves to God’s will because even though we think we know what that is, it’s really up to God to have the last say and decide.
LOVE is love and that’s why this Mormon is voting YES.