This is my story, I am not exactly sure on how to start so I guess I will start at the beginning.
My experience with Heavenly Father started for a brief period at a young age. It all began with my mom reading my sister and I children’s biblical stories for a winter. To this day I am not entirely sure why she did this as my family was not a religious one, and we had no religious roots that I knew of (other than Adam and Eve); perhaps this sprouted from a personal longing, or from an exposure point of view, but from that moment on Christ had planted his seed in my heart.
After that winter that seed became relatively dormant it surfaced a couple of times but never took root. I remember vaguely a day when I had found a poster with a verse from the bible and posted it on my door only to be taken down by my father that night. There were several similar events like that throughout elementary school but as I got older life swept me away from all thoughts of Jesus, heaven, and God.
The summer after graduating from high school found me working in a restaurant located in a National Park in Alberta. There were many churches around (as this is a particularly religious part of the province) and my interest was piqued once again. However, sunday after Sunday came around, and I found that schedules collided or on the rare chance that I actually had the morning off I found myself too shy to go. I slowly found myself sliding into the clutches of drug and alcohol abuse as is the norm for most resort town employees, and the seed went dormant for four more years.
Last summer after trading restaurants for a chef’s position I found myself working with a group of LDS members (The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints or, Mormons for short) these where some of the nicest people I had ever met naturally I was enthralled! after many lengthy discussions passing the time in the slow seasons I decided to go to church, this was a big deal for me and I was nervous really nervous!
Sunday morning came around rather quickly to my surprise and dismay I was not mentally prepared for this! There I was standing in my room palms sweaty, knees shaking, and brain not functioning, I was dressed in a set of old dress clothes I had borrowed from one of my LDS friends, shirt buttoned wrong, tie haphazardly strewn around my neck and, Jack Daniel’s belt buckle sitting proudly at my waist – (those of you that know about mormons will appreciate this) I was a disaster.
After some rapid re arranging of my wardrobe, and some help tying my tie I was off. We arrived at the church a little late not late enough to arrive during the hymn, but just late enough to receive a scolding from the greeter, a pause from the preacher, and a slightly annoyed stare from the three hundred some odd people in the church what a start!
None of that mattered though as I was too enveloped in the enormity of it all, the whole entire time I felt serene which was a feeling I didn’t feel too often. I was so caught up in the little things, the way the mountains were framed in the cross shaped window, the way the morning light caressed the altar I could go on forever.
Then it hit me I felt the spirit stronger than I have ever felt it this was where I was meant to be. The way the spirit presented itself to me is in that of pure elation, it made me feel like a child back when the world was large and opportunities where endless; I then rationalized it as innocence I hadn’t felt this way since I was a child, since I was innocent, and now I need help getting back to innocence.
The rest of that summer I attended church, I lived by the words of wisdom (essentially no stimulants tea coffee drugs alcohol etc are the basics they get a whole lot deeper though) I eventually was taught by the Mormon missionaries but, never went through with baptism it could have been due to the fact that I wanted to explore other churches so I could make an informed decision, but mostly it was the fact that I wasn’t ready to give up my bad habits which range from smoking marijuana (which I have now quit), drinking I am having a hard time writing this one, and I am ashamed of this but feel the need to get it out: an addiction to pornography (which I think I have now conquered).
However I am stuck at the moment, I have an ever building testimony in Christ, but am not sure on which church to join, I am having moments of spiritual enlightenment and moments when my soul feels dull almost dead and I wish to change, I have not told my parents about my religious endeavors and am petrified to find out what my family will think, I know this is being vain but believe me this will be my greatest obstacle and on top of this I am dealing with the stresses of post-secondary schooling while trying to figure this out, I also am pretty sure I have a social anxiety which has kept me from attending church I feel like I am about to explode, I need direction in the worst way.. I have however prayed every day about this! anyways its 1 am and I need to wake up at 6…I resign more on this later.
Thank you for reading this I needed to tell someone, God bless you.
p.s. sorry for the grammatical errors I lack the mental energy to proofread this at the moment.