Monday, June 24, 2013

My Decision & Journey: Joining the LDS Church

After being raised Catholic and growing up in catholic schools surrounded by catholics... A lot of my friends have questioned what made me pick a whole new path in life. And for a long time I couldn't really give them an answer, besides "it felt like it was what I was supposed to do and what felt right". But now that life has taken me forward a few years everything is a lot clearer to me now and I want to give all of you who have wondered about my decision to be baptized in the LDS church more of an answer. For me it all started when I began to realize that I didn't have a reason to be catholic besides that I was raised in the catholic church. I knew very little about it's history, teachings & most importantly I didn't know that any of it I actually believed and had faith in for myself. Other than just going through the motions and doing what I was told and raised to believe. I never felt like it was a bad place to be. In fact, whenever I had a hard time with something my first thought was maybe I should go to church, cause thats a good place to be right? I occasionally prayed when I really needed something or was going through a rough time. I went to church when my parents did and never complained. But something was missing. My faith wasn't apart of my daily life, it was just something I was raised in and something I knew I could turn to when life got hard. My parents always raised me to believe in God and to live a virtuous life. But when I went to high school and saw so many kids that were raised this same way but then did things that didn't stay true to what they believed, I decided I wanted to live my life a little differently. I wanted to be abstinent till I was married, I wanted to avoid harmful substances such as alcohol and drugs and I wanted to do more with my life than going to parties every weekend. I did find a lot of good friends that wanted these same things and I was blessed to date guys who respected my decisions through out high school. But I still felt like something was missing. As I dated a boy who was preparing for his lds mission I learned a lot about the LDS church. Not by him teaching and preaching at me but by his families example and his devotion to his church that led him to want to serve a two year mission. I became more and more interested in the LDS church. As this desire to learn more about the church was growing inside of me, I made a decision to give my catholic faith one last shot as I took off for Florida to go play soccer for a very small private catholic university. My time in Florida was amazing and I do not regret ever making the decision to go there. In Florida I met some of the most amazing people and got to be apart of a team I will never forget. However, it was in Florida that I realized all I wanted to do was go home and learn more about the LDS church. When I returned home that is exactly what I did. I began going to the LDS church to see what it was all about. I can't say I had any big aww-haw moment, I just liked how I felt when I went to church there and I liked the person it was encouraging me to be. Although I had this great feeling every time I went to church I really still didn't know much about the church. So I decided to meet with some of the lds missionaries here in Boise to learn more about the church. As I met with them weekly I kept wanting to learn more and I was on what I like to call "a spiritual high". I found the church very interesting and I really believed everything my missionaries taught me. I didn't really have to think about it much I just had a really good feeling inside that what they were telling me was true. When I chose to be baptized I still really had a lot to learn. But I knew it was where I wanted to be every sunday and I knew I felt good when I went to church there and I liked the person I was becoming when applying the principles they taught me to my life. So with that being said, I was baptized. Since that day I was baptized did I question my conversion? absolutely. Converting to another religion despite what your family feels is right or wants for you is really hard. Especially when you are as close to your family as I was and still am to mine. But it wasn't about what my family wanted for me or what my catholic friends thought, it was about what made me happy and what made me a better version of myself. And everything about me wanted to be a mormon. Although a lot of times I didn't really know exactly why besides the fact that it felt like it was the right place for me to be and the right thing for me to do. What I can tell you two years later, is that over and over again I have had experiences in my life that have confirmed to me why I was baptized into the LDS church. Every time I go to the temple I learn more about the church and receive personal revelation as to why I'm meant to be apart of it. The Lds church has taught me gratitude like I've never felt before, it has shown me guidance in my life and in my daily decisions that I never knew I could have from my heavenly father & most of all it has shown me how to love others  and how to serve others like I never have before. I've never felt the spirit so much in my life and have never had so many prayers answered. The organization of the church is perfect in every way. I respect and appreciate all religions. But the LDS religion has changed my life and I'm so glad my life is based on the principles it teaches me because I become a better version of myself every time I work on applying them to my life. I'm so glad I made the decision I did two years ago & if anyone ever has any questions I hope you feel comfortable enough to ask. Thanks to all of you who have been apart of my life and helped me on this journey to where I am now because I wouldn't want my life any other way :)