I have grown up my entire life as a Latter Day Saint. I haven’t explored other religions to find out if I belonged to the right one or not, I just have always stuck to what’s comfortable. In the beginning I wasn’t aware of the fact that I could question it. I knew it was an inevitable part of my life so I figured I might as well get used to it. I was, if you will, spoon fed my Gospel knowledge. There was no ‘Sacred Grove’ moment for me where my own personal testimony came all at once with perfect surety. In some ways I feel blessed to have doubted it. I feel blessed that I wasn’t always completely sure. I appreciate the implications of my beliefs. I cling to the feelings I’ve felt when I’ve taken the time to ASK. I’m overwhelmed with the concept of the atonement. It’s so much more than the belief that Christ died for my sins. Chieko N. Okazaki phrases it as pure poetry.
“We talk in great generalities about the sins of all human kind. About the suffering of the entire human family; but we do NOT experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually.”
Sure- The Savior died for us. It’s a commonly accepted belief. Too many times I forget that I am included in ‘us’… He died for US ( You, Me, Everyone )
“That means He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the breaks locked and the car started to skid. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further; there is nothing you have experienced that He does not also know and recognize. He knows about rape, infertility, and abortion. He understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy- both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy that follows. He knows what it was like when your mother was diagnosed with cancer, how it was for your mother and how it still is for you.”
I spent too many years believing a fraction of the atonement. It’s so much more than the Savior just dying for my sins! That in itself is a miraculous thing- but when I took the time to apply the rest of the principle to my life, I found out that I am NOT alone. I’m not the only person who has felt the way I feel in my lowest of lows and in turn, my highest of highs. And He didn’t do it for just some people, He did it for all of us.
“He’s not embarrassed with us, angry or shocked. He wants us in our unhappiness, in our guilt and in our grief. His last recorded words to His disciples were, “And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” The Lord isn’t waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He is the Lord of the living and the living make mistakes.”
And so it is.. soak in the miracle of numerous ways to be a mormon. Soak in the blessing of STARTING CLEAN. Soak in the aspect that at the end of the day, we can get on our knees and ask for direct help from a member of the Godhead. Glory, glory, hallelujah!