I remember the heart pounding feeling as I sought out to investigate. Investigate. Searching with the intent to find. But, to find what exactly? Faith? Hope? Truth?
It started with a simple question from a friend in Italy. Why do you believe what you do? I paused. Have you really thought about it? I laughed. Of course I had, you know. I don't just follow along without thinking. I'm not a sheep. Really? Personally, I don't believe anything without really thinking it over first. I swallowed. Uh. Yeah. Me neither.
I thought back to my first days out of Utah. Moving out of state. Out into the "big bad world" of my conservative Christian college. I asked my religion teacher to explain the Trinity. She answered: The Trinity is complicated. I took this to mean: I'm wrong. You got me there Emily. I crowed to my family back home, attesting to the ignorance of my roommate when she asked, Do you think there are levels of Heaven? I gave my coffee drinking friend a Book of Mormon. Pushed it on him twice after he halfheartedly thanked me and then left the slim blue book in my car.
What an ass.
I put my hands over my ears as my non-Mormon boyfriend asked me: If a man can be sealed to more than one wife in Heaven, isn't that polygamy?
I ignored him further still when he pointed out B.H. Roberts, the Defender of the Faith, had a list of questions about the Book of Mormon. When Roberts presented his questions to the Brethren, they told him to be quiet. I ignored him when he pointed out the Book of Mormon was very similar to a book published around Joseph Smith's time. Around where Smith lived.
Until one day, I looked. I investigated Lying for the Lord. Milk Before Meat. Celestial Polygamy. Dusting the Feet. Second Anointing. The Word of Wisdom.
My heart pounded each time. Convinced I was going to...I don't know...be struck down. I pushed onward. Told myself, Come on. It's just knowledge. The image of Satan as a serpent flashed before my eyes. I watched the Mormon episode of South Park, scoffing at the depictions of Joseph Smith. Imagine my hurt when I found out two writers knew more about my religion than I did.
I joined Postmormon.com and searched and searched. I became convinced the Church was not as it claimed. Joseph Smith was a con. A liar. A fraud. I learned what really went on in the Temple.
Handshakes? Passwords? God needed a password? THIS was what my life was supposed to culminate in? A secret club? I felt betrayed. God was the master of The Heman Womun Haters Club. A silly tree house with a No Gurls A Loud sign nailed to the front.
I fell into depression. For eight months I felt like dying. I prayed to God to leave me in ignorance. To help me accept Mormonism. To forget what I had learned. To take it all away. I prayed to never wake up. I prayed to die. I wanted to die.
What did I do to deserve this?
And what do I intend to find?