Sunday, January 16, 2011

I is for...


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 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 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?

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