Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It Only Took A Year

I think I am finally done rebelling. Not that I was rebelling against the church, but I was rebelling in my own way. After I was released as YW President, I put my piercings back in. Nothing scandalous...just the several multiple ear piercings. Maybe it was a silly childish rebellion, but I put them back in as if to say, "There...I can do what I want and your criticism won't affect me anymore."

After putting the piercings back in, I actually started looking for ways to rebel. I thought about getting a tattoo, but I knew that was something that I would regret. (Also, I hate needles.) I thought about getting my nose pierced or an industrial. I still attended church, I payed my tithing, I went to the Temple. I did everything I was supposed to do, but my heart wasn't in it as much as it should have been.

I was definitely disenchanted. All of the crap that was thrown at me during my time as YW President had a profound effect on me after I was released. I know that I was truly sustained and uplifted during the calling; I faced everything head-on and stood my ground. I prayed and knew that everything I did, every decision I made as YW President was made with the Spirit as my guide, but after I was released I really began to truly feel everything that happened during my calling. I did not want to be around anyone at church other than my family and my two closest friends. I honored my new calling, but did not attend anything else RS related. I was going through the motions, and, while doing so, I was trying to figure out the tiniest methods of rebellion. My piercings being the most visible.

Well, yesterday, something unexpected happened. As I was saying my personal morning prayer, I felt something that I had not felt in a long time. I felt peace in the Gospel. As I was praying, I felt the spirit of rebellion leaving me. Not only did I feel it leave, I felt an understanding of it that I did not have before. I felt forgiveness; I felt the desire to forgive others. For the first time in over a year, I truly wanted to go to church and be a part of it.

I went home yesterday and took the piercings out.

I have a long way to go in the process, but I am finally ready to begin again.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Too Mormon for some, but still not Mormon enough for others

I pride myself on being able to balance family, church, and work. It is not always easy, but I try very hard  not to let the difficulty show. (I do not always succeed, especially in the confines of my own home.)

I pride  myself on being a good example of a Latter Day Saint everywhere I go; however, in the last two weeks I have learned that I am in fact "too Mormon" for some with whom I work and "not Mormon enough" for some of the people with whom I go to church.

Some people I work with feel "intimidated" by my Mormonness. They are uncomfortable that when we go out I don't drink or swear. I don't care if they drink. I don't care if they smoke. I don't care if they swear. I was raised in the company of sailors and Marines. There are few words that make me blush and it takes a lot to make me uncomfortable. I enjoy going out with my non-Mormon friends. We have a great time, but there are several of my work colleagues who just want to me to "relax and have a drink every once in a while." I live quite comfortably in the world and I am quite relaxed.

The other side of the issue is the people at church. They are frustrated (read that to say judgemental) because I am friends with many people who do not share my same values. This is not new to me. However, also in the last couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that several people do not like the choices I allow my students to make. One parent went so far as to say that she did not want her daughter in my class because I allow my students to write about sex, drugs, and "other objectionable" topics, if they choose to. What is most interesting, is that all teachers allow students to choose topics in which to write. Those "other" teachers are fine because they do not share "our" values. Excuse me? Maybe I am incorrect in my assumption, but to me that means that because I am Mormon, I should not allow my students the freedom to choose their own topics??? What??? Am I supposed to limit my students ability to choose because of my personal religious values?

So that leaves me too Mormon for some and not Mormon enough for others. It is a good thing that I am perfectly comfortable with who I am.