Wednesday, October 19, 2011
We grew up "in the mission field". My siblings and I were typically one of the few "Mormons" in our grade. People knew little to nothing about us, and what they did know was typically incorrect. When we lived in NY and we had early morning seminary, I woke up at 4:45am to "get ready". We had to leave the house at 5:30am for the 30-minute drive to our dark church building for seminary, which started at 6:00am. After class, our teacher had to go to work, and we were left there to kill some time in the foyer until we caught our school bus to the high school.
My brother Andy would lecture us on "keeping a low profile". I can still hear him saying it! Ha, ha. He would have us leave the building spaced out in small groups, so as not to draw questions and attention to ourselves. I wasn't to speak to him or acknowledge that he was my brother. Who would believe we got up at the crack of dawn to go to church and study the Bible, and if they did what would they say!? I guess we all were all "ashamed" to a certain extent. Our move to Virginia was a little better. Our ward congregation was large and well-established. The youth in our ward were Valedictorian, track and basketball stars, Homecoming queen and king, and often the top in their class, not to mention good, kind kids. It was a little easier to "admit" that yeah, I was a Mormon, just like so and so. Still, I've never been one to "put myself out there". I've said it before, I've never really been a "missionary" other than setting a good example.
My brothers all went off on their missions and came home changed men. They were preaching to total strangers at the baggage claim, for crying out loud! They were handing out pass along cards in the grocery store and saying things like, "Have you read the Book of Mormon?" or "Guys, let's turn off the TV and FEAST UPON THE WORD!" I was shocked, a little embarrassed...and totally impressed. My faith is important to me. It's special to me. I don't like it to be judged, questioned or mocked. I take it personally, so I'm more inclined to just keep it quietly close to myself.
Yesterday our neighbor came over to invite me to his Bible Study at his house. He's a pastor. I was friendly and nodded and smiled and took his card, which said, "ARE YOU ON THE RIGHT PATH? Does it matter?" Then he asked me, "What church do you belong to?" My chest tightened, I'm sure I blushed, as memories of growing up and words, "keep a low profile" banged around in my ears. But then I remembered the primary song, "I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow Him in faith." and I smiled and looked him straight in the eye and said, "I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!" Now it was his turn to blush. I'm sure he's watched the news. He said, "Well, in THAT case, let me give you these other two pamphlets." One was about being saved by Grace. The other was entitled, "Life's Greatest Decision". I thanked them for coming, flashed my most winning smile and wave and they were on their way.
Today I logged onto Mormon.org and checked on my pending profile. It's up. I'm "out there" for all to see. It's liberating and terrifying all at once. But, there are things that I believe, and among them is that my "Life's Greatest Decision" was to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm on the right path, and it does matter.
You can read all about ME and my faith on the link on my sidebar! Go and do, my friends. Go and do.
at 4:49 PM