Showing posts from April, 2013

On faith: Part 3 - Freedom

And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever ... to act for themselves and not to be acted upon.
There is something about summer nights. The stars reach out forever, a soft breeze evokes memories of childhood, and you engage in the most amazing conversations against a backdrop of chirping crickets.
Late one such night, I wandered the streets of our sleepy college town with a trusted friend, sharing with him some of my most private and difficult personal challenges.
I confided in him that only a few months earlier, I had considered abandoning my faith and leaving the church in which I had actively participated from the time I was eight years old. Interestingly, my friend told me he had found himself in a similar situation.
"So why did you stay?" I asked. "Why did you keep believing when you had no reason to?" 
In his own words: "I chose faith because I realized the decision was mine to make. Either I was going to choose to beli…

On faith: Throwing up

Personal journal entry from June 1998 Age: 12
About five minutes after I walked out the door to collect fast offerings, I started to get a little queasy. Soon after that I got this really bad pounding headache. The second I got home I went right up to my bedroom. It was my first migraine headache. I figured that if I got to sleep and had a nap that I would end up feeling better. I was just about to sleep when my stomach started to hurt really bad. It is impossible to go to sleep with a stomach ache, especially if it is accompanied with a very bad headache. I got down on my knees and prayed for my headache and my stomach ache to go away. A few minutes later I threw up. After this my stomach did not hurt and I was able to go to sleep. I had a good long nap and when I woke up I was feeling a whole lot better. I didn’t recognize this until later, but my throwing up was a good thing because after I threw up I was able to go to sleep. I also think that Heavenly Father helped me to throw up…

On faith: Part 2 - Snowball effect

I have felt the effects of a bully only twice in my life. The first time turned out all right because I ended up sitting on him for the rest of recess. That was in first grade. I wasn't really picked on again until seventh grade--the first year of junior high school. A certain ninth grader enjoyed using me for snowball target practice on the way home from the bus stop. Naturally, snowballs were not the only thing he hurled in my direction.
One day, having endured just such a barrage, I walked into my house, stormed up the stairs to my room, and sat down on the floor in the corner behind my bed. Hot tears of anger boiled in my eyes.
I don't remember why, but I reached for a copy of The Book of Mormon that lay nearby. Perhaps it was because I'd been told that the scriptures held the power to answer our questions. Perhaps I didn't know where else to turn. For whatever reason, my twelve-year-old hands grabbed the book and fanned through the pages. I read only one verse, a…

On faith: Part 1 - Introduction

During my experience as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have had numerous opportunities to listen to people as they experienced deep personal crises of faith. I myself have endured such crises. I've decided to share some of these experiences in a series of blog posts. 
What do I mean by spiritual crisis?
For someone like me who grew up with believing parents who taught me from childhood about God, a crisis of faith may be as simple as wondering whether I actually believe what I was raised to know. For a recent convert, a crisis of faith may occur because of intense frustration associated with the inability to leave behind old habits and establish new ones. For everyone, a crisis of faith may come about when life, with its often cruel and merciless twists, presents a set of extremely personal and frighteningly intense circumstances that seem to directly contradict the faith we have embraced.
What of these crises?
Allow me to say that there is nothing…