I have begun to talk more openly about my religion on my blog. Obviously I don't hide it or anything, and I have the ever so common "we believe" button on my side bar that you find among Mormon bloggers. The whole point of this blog is to have a place to share about my life and thoughts. Since I have loved being apart of these types of conversations on other blogs, I figured, why not talk about it? I mean, it is a massive part of my life.
When the people around you think your beliefs are strange or don't understand it, you tend to react in several different ways. You try to hide the fact that you are odd, or you can wear that "odd sticker" with pride and try and tell everyone how cool you really are and try to convince them, or you just live your life in peace with who you are and don't care what others think, or you start to question yourself and who you are, and what you really believe in. Sometimes you do all of the above.
In my life, I have done all of those things. I have been embarrassed to be Mormon, I have been proud, I have been happy, I have been sad, I have been indifferent. All of these emotions were essential to my conversion to the religion. I am sure all people have experienced some form of persecution for their beliefs, religious or not, and can understand the massive amount of emotions that can be tied to that.
I have always asked a lot of questions. I still do to this day. Growing up I asked a lot of questions about the religion I was being raised in, and for the most part I always felt comfortable with the answers I received. But when you are young and impressionable, and you have people teasing you about what you belief in, it challenges your beliefs. I am grateful for these challenges because it caused me to question and analyze what I actually believed in much sooner then I probably would have naturally.
I believe my path to finding my testimony and deciding to live a Mormon lifestyle wasn't always the easiest, but I also don't think I had as many challenges as other people may face either. I used to think, "am I the only one who struggles with this? Why is it so easy for everyone else?" It was easy to look at others who portray such a confidence in their testimony and think that everyone has got it pulled together and you don't. Obviously we all face difficulties, and we don't always share that. But it can be hard to remember that when you are going through a challenging time.
Growing up Mormon as a child was nothing short of magical, but as I entered into my teens and had everything I was ever taught challenged, I had to make my own choice as to what I believed in, and no one could do that for me. I have never felt truly alone in my life because I have always felt the presence of my Heavenly Father, but there were a few years there where alone and tormented would be the best way to describe the inner struggle that I faced when learning and trying to make decisions that would impact the rest of my life.