Forgotten, but now remembered.

Tonight I discovered a wonderful, new (to me) blog which has reminded me of things I’ve forgotten. I’m moving into a new home in a few weeks, the first home I will ever own. The possession date is three years after my “liberation date”, the date I walked away from a destructive un-marriage (it wandered so far from a marriage, I sometimes struggle to use the word marriage), moved into a cute little apartment and started to try and renew myself. I keep thinking about how in the last three years, I got out of [enormous] debt (thanks to the ex-), how I managed to travel the world and fulfill some dreams, how I changed not only jobs, but careers and am thriving, how I have regained my self-respect, and confidence, how I met an amazing man who I love to pieces and who brings an amazing smile to my face, and how I have finally saved enough money, found the perfect house, in the perfect location, for the perfect price.

Reading Alece’s narrative, her journey from broken to whole, reminded me just how much I relied on a faith in Christ / love / hope to get me through my own journey. I know that I often express my discomfort and disagreement with aspects of my religion. But when it comes down to it, the faith and associated principles which are the fundamental part of any religion provides a very true source of “grounding”. While it may not play a consciously predominate part in my daily life, it is what gets me from point A to B. I try and take credit for all the progress I’ve made, but I know it’s not just me. While I know I haven’t given enough time or respect to the things that matter the most, I know my solid testimony that I nurtured so early on in my life still exists, and that it still buoys me, even if I’m not actively feeding. It laid the foundation for strength, reslience, perserverance and just a hope for a future. I think it might be getting hungry though. I find myself turning to Christian bloggers of the female-20-something-type, reading their words, feeling them not only speaking to me, but stirring things deep within me. It’s not so much the religion that I’m attracted to, but their hope and faith for a brighter future. If that comes from a basis of religion, then I’m fine with that. After all, I do share that heritage.

I remember now where my strength through the 12 months of disintegrating marriage came from. I can’t forget that. Well, that, and really, really great friends, chocolate and yoga.

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Truths.

Yesterday, being the first Sunday of the month, was Fast & Testimony Meeting. This is something I’ve historically dreaded; who wants to hear the thoughts of everyone? I know this is potentially a very hypocritical thought as I strongly believe that everyone has a voice, and everyone should find a forum for their voice. But oh so often these meetings diverge from their true purpose – to allow individuals a chance to testify of Christ and the Atonement in their life – to a story-telling, all-purpose emotion-sharing, meeting. It is that which I can’t stand.

So I would be lying if I were to say that I woke up yesterday excited to go to Church.

The meeting started out not too badly; nothing  caused me to cringe overtly.

Then, one gentleman stood up and shared words that resonated with me. I was so grateful to know that someone was able to share openly what they believed, and what I believe many believe, but don’t openly share.

I paraphrase:

I am grateful for all the truth in the world that is available to us. And I don’t mean just Gospel truths. Through the Gospel, and the tools within, God has provided with the ability to perhaps see truth more clearly, but there is truth all around. The truth is not circumscribed within the walls of this building, within the Gospel itself and within the 15 million of us on this earth. And I am grateful for all I can find and understand.

Thank You. He disappeared after the meeting before I had the chance to thank him personally, so this is my thank you. I’ve always believed this; I love when I come to an understanding of various pieces of knowledge.

It is very dangerous to assume only one set of beliefs is accurate, is true, is the one and only. Many years ago I started academically studying the tenets of a variety of religions. I wasn’t “shopping” for a new religion, I was seeking to understand others. Looking for points of commonalities and points of divergence helps is essential for tolerance, compassion and granting of religious freedom or for actively pursuing effective missionary work – whatever way you want to go. I can’t profess to be an expert on any of the religions, I’m not even sure I remember what I studied. What I do remember, however, is the profound realization I had that there were many, many similarities, and that what seemed like obvious points of divergence were due, in part to culture differences influencing how similarities were acted on. Looking at these other religions through the lens of “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one religion with the most truths and fullest of the Gospel”  I could see the stepping stones of belief within that religion which, with a bit of additional knowledge, could lead conversion to the Church.

I can’t substantiate this, because as I said, this is based on memories of thoughts from casual reading many years ago. What these memories mean to me today is that there is no single keeper of truth on this earth. There is a lot of truth, half-truth, maybe-truth, definitely-not-truth, out there in the world. Each of us has the personal responsibility to go out there, investigate, and come to our own conclusions.