I was raised protestant, started spending time in the Baptist church as a teen, eventually I got sick of the whole idea of organized religion. I love God, I believe there is a creator and I’m certain there is more to life than this, but I am not, nor do I like “Bible-thumpers”, or as hubby refers to them as, Too Protestant to Function (“Too P to F”). I got tired of people telling me I was going to hell for piercing my ears and discouraging me from inviting “unholy” people to youth nights. Sadly, many churches (of all faiths) are full of judgmental hypocrites, so I just stopped going for a while.
Hubby pulled me out of my religious slump when I started going to Catholic Mass with him (voluntarily, he never pressured me). I converted last year, now we are both Roman Catholic and proud of it, but we don’t ever bash people over the head with it, either.
This post is not to say that I think Catholics are perfect or any better than any other string of Christianity (or other religions) but it’s a better fit for me. I like the kneeling, the structure of Mass and the general vibe that’s there. I also love the churches buildings, the way the Priest sings, the incense, the candles, and the other formal traditions. I’m relieved that there is no 15-minute meet and greet where everyone out of their seats to chit-chat in the middle of the service, and I love that in the 18 months I’ve been going to Mass, no one has ever asked me if I’ve “felt the Holy Spirit” that day. I think it’s cool that people mind their own business.
(For the record, the one major thing I’m not into is the treatment of Priests who are found to be molesting children. They need the ultimate punishment. I am embarrassed by the slap on the wrist treatment they get. If it was up to me things would play out quite differently….)
Catholicism isn’t for everyone but it works for me. I don’t believe that you have to be a Catholic, or a Baptist or a Protestant, or even a type of Christina, to go to Heaven. This is something of a new concept to me, since growing up I was taught that if you weren’t a member of my particular church, you weren’t going anywhere good. I regret being so closed minded, but am happy to say I’ve come a long way.
In my changing ideas of religion and acceptance, I’ve become very interested in Mormons. I don’t really know why I’m drawn to them, but something about them is intriguing. I’ve done some reading and I follow a few blogs written by real-life Mormons. I don’t mean to imply that I plan to convert, or that I necessarily agree with their beliefs or practices, I simply find it interesting. Plus, I’d never actually MET a Mormon before, which fueled my fascination even more.
I was quite excited a few months ago to learn that my husband’s Platoon Sergeant is a real live Mormon, with a Mormon wife, and Mormon children! Even better, we were having them over for supper the following week! I couldn’t wait to ask them about their Mormoncy (Which I KNOW is not the correct term; I was just so excited it slipped)! Hubby persuaded me to not bombard them, or make them uncomfortable, but perhaps a few polite questions would be appropriate. We had a wonderful visit, but sadly, the conversation never led us to religion, and I am way too shy to have simply come out and asked about it. We’ve seen them since, but again, the opportunity never presented itself. If only I wasn’t so freakin’ hesitant to ask my questions!
I can obviously find the basics anywhere, but I want to know what life is really like as a Mormon. What is it like to live as a polygamist? For the more mainstream Mormons, how to you decide what practices to strictly follow, and which are more like guidelines (Rated R movies, caffeine, etc.)?
If I, as a Catholic, followed all the rules, I would opt for Natural Family Planning as my method of birth control, pray for those in purgatory and fast on Fridays. I don’t do those things; most Catholics don’t do all the Catholic things we’re supposed to. So what is it really like to be a Mormon?