"Fear departs when faith endures."
-Naomi W. Randall
I'm afraid that people will judge me immediately by the fact that I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a.k.a. Mormon, before discovering what that actually entails.
I'm afraid of offending people by sounding preachy or judgmental.
I'm afraid that those who already share my beliefs will think, "Yeah, yeah, I already went to church this week, thanks."
I'm afraid people will think that being a Mormon means I don't like gays, I shun modern science, or that I belong to an oppressive cult. In reality, none of these things could be further from the truth.
I'm afraid because of the incorrect assumptions about the church that go around causing people to believe it's something bad when, in reality, it's all about love, following Christ, and trying to be a good person.
I'm afraid that others will think I don't respect their personal beliefs if I share my own.
I'm afraid of not being liked. This sounds weak and pathetic, I know. I'm not proud of my fear.
|Painting by Carl Bloch|
But do you want to know the honest truth?
I DO believe. It's a complex, historical religion that's always evolving. There are past issues that I may never fully understand, but I follow the precepts of the church as it is today and as it will be. People are never perfect, but I believe God is, and that he's directing the church's leaders and giving constant guidance.
I know that to many, faith goes against all odds and they think it's silly to believe in things that can't be proven. I'm a logical, skeptical person myself. I question everything. But when you've felt it like I have, your heart knows truths you could never deny.
The only way I can vanquish fear is by having faith. I would be an unhappy, nervous wreck if I didn't believe in eternity, the promise that we can be together forever, and that we can fix any mistakes through Christ's atonement.
I believe. You don't have to agree with me; I'll love you either way. I do ask for respect, however, and I hope you can at least see where I (and 14 million others) are coming from.
I hope my faith can be stronger than my fear.
P.S. April 6th is the day the LDS church was founded, and many in the church believe it may be the day Jesus Christ was born. There are also some great Easter videos on lds.org right now.