First of all, my opinions expressed here are not any kind of official anything! To find some great information on Mormon beliefs visit either of these links: mormon.org or lds.org.
And now, my story. I was born into the LDS church, both of my parents are members. My maternal grandpa and my paternal grandma are members, pretty much everyone else in my family has fallen away from the church. I was raised in places where the Mormon church isn't particularly popular, not many people knew what it was, and not all of my friends were LDS when I was growing up. But in 7th grade I moved to one of the Mormon capitals of the world. I discovered for the first time that there are actually a lot of us! What?!?! Soon enough pretty much all my friends were Mormons, which was only the coolest thing ever when I was 13 years old! I ended up attending a church owned school, which was one of the most fun experiences of my life, and now here I am, preparing to embark on a church mission.
When I was eight years old, I was baptized into my church. Many religions share the practice of baptizing children, many baptizing infants. The Mormon church believes that children under the age of eight are still innocent, young enough not to know major rights from major wrongs. When a child reaches the age of eight, this is called the age of accountability. This is when a child is old enough to be accountable for the mistakes they make. Well, on my eighth birthday, I was baptized into the LDS church and the following day I was confirmed a member. To be entirely honest I don't remember all that much about the day I was baptized, but I can sure remember the feelings. It was the most clean feeling I had ever felt. I felt and knew that all my sins were being washed away.
After high school, deciding to attend a church college was one of the more conflicted decisions I've had to make. I knew that all the BYUs are great places to get a good education, as well as a place to meet A LOT of other Mormons. But it was just so expected. Like I said, I like adventure. Every Mormon is expected to attend BYU, go on a mission if they're a guy, get married their sophomore year, start having kids their senior year, graduate, and go on living perfect little lives. It all seemed perfectly boring to me. I dreamt of moving off to some far away university, only coming home for Christmas, and having great adventures living in a whole different culture. But I am here to tell you, that choosing to attend BYU-Idaho was one of the best decisions of my life. I can also thank all the colleges I applied to for making it my only choice, but that's completely beside the point. Attending a church school is hard is some ways, strict dress codes, curfew, and all the boys are either premies (pre-missionaries) or looking for a wife. But in some ways, attending a church school was so fun! I lived in a house with 4 other girls, and I could not have asked for better roommates! I never had to worry about going to a party and worrying about avoiding alcohol or drugs, I never had to worry about walking in on my roommates with boys (awkward!), and best of all, my religion was incorporated into all my classes! All of my professors were Mormons, we started every class with a prayer and often a scripture (even math class!), and every Tuesday we had a school wide devotional. There weren't any classes scheduled for one hour on Tuesday so everyone could attend a big meeting where a staff member or an authority in the church would come and talk to us. I guess my whole point to this paragraph is that BYU-Idaho was one of the best decisions I've made and I hope to go back someday!
Another big part of Mormon life is missions. Missions missions missions. Basically all men are expected to go, and women can choose to go if they want to. Boys can leave when are 18 years old, they serve for 2 years. Girls are able to serve at 19 years old, we go for 18 months. Whenever I tell people who aren't Mormon that I'm going on a mission, the most common question I get is "what's the point of a mission?" Well, the point is proselyting. Go look it up in the dictionary. Just kidding, I'll do it for you: a proselyte is a person who has changed from one opinion, religious belief, sect, or the like, to another; convert. So proselyting is changing other's opinions, religious beliefs etc. Reading over that, it sounds really bad. We don't go out to preach and tell everyone they are going to hell. I promise. In my own words, I am going out to serve because I love my religion. It has made me who I am today. I love it so much and know the power that it has, I want to share it with everyone that I can. I can't even imagine missing out on the opportunities the church has given me, so I want to bring those blessing and opportunities to others!
I'm not entirely sure what the point of this post was. I just want everyone to get to know me I guess! Being Mormon is such a big part of my life, and hopefully this blog will help me share that with the world. On another note, I have plenty of friends that aren't Mormon, and I totally respect all beliefs. I'm not one to shove my beliefs down your throat, because I don't want you to shove your beliefs down mine! I would love to invite you all to learn about the Mormon church, but if you don't want to, then don't! We can still be friends, promise.
Thanks for reading and come back soon! If you have any questions for me about my religion just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I also have a profile on mormon.org.
As a lead up to my next post: sometimes when I'm bored with life I like to try random things, and my latest adventure has been trying out vegetarianism! If you have any questions about that email me and I'll try to answer them in my next post!