Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Religion is a Choice

Back in either my junior or senior year of high school I remember sitting and talking to an acquaintance in my Drama class named Ali. We were discussing religion. It was a very interesting topic because I am Mormon (or LDS if you prefer) and she was a practicing Wiccan. I don’t believe you can find two more different religions.


This was not the first time we had talked about religion. Growing up in the middle of Georgia, just south of Atlanta, both Ali and I found ourselves outcast. Surrounded by a bunch of self righteous Christianities, we were both told we were going to Hell numerous times. I’m sure in many people’s minds Ali and I were both evil Satan worshippers.


So, one day as we were exchanging questions and answers about our religions, Ali asked me, “Were you just raised Mormon or did you choose it?”


The question threw me for a moment. No one had ever asked me such an intelligent question regarding religion. Most questions went along the lines of “Do you have horns?” or “How many moms do you have?” (seriously) After a second of thought I said, “Well, yes, I was raised Mormon. But now that I’m older, I have chosen to be Mormon.”


I remember Ali smiling and being impressed with my answer and I felt very proud. I believe that the conversation then went in the direction of talking about how most people just go with the religion they were born with and never question or find out for themselves what is true.


And now, 5 or 6 years later, I still remember that moment. I think that might have been the first time I really owned being Mormon. That I wasn’t afraid to say it and that I wasn’t afraid of the ridicule I might get. Admittedly, this didn’t mean that I was shouting it from the rooftops, not that I needed to, most of the people I grew up with already knew.


I believe in people making decisions for themselves. And I also believe that whatever decision you make for yourself about religion you should do it for yourself. Choose the religion that is right for you. That makes since to not only your heart, but to your mind as well. And even if in the long run you choose a religion that isn’t the most correct, I believe that God will give you bonus points for faith and dedication.


Religion is a choice, so choose wisely and be grateful if you live in a community and/or country that allows you to make that decision.


And if you’re interested in learning more about the Mormon faith, feel free to ask me questions or to visit this very cool web site [mormon.org]. And the next time that pair of nicely dressed young men riding bikes and wearing name tags come to your door, let them in and talk to them. They pay money so that they can come talk to you and your neighbors for two years. Give them a little slack. :D