Anybody that has had any deep conversation with me over the past couple of years knows that I’ve been on a bit of a journey regarding religion and where it fits into my life and where I “fit”.
It hasn’t been easy.
The one thing that I feel very blessed about is that while I’ve struggled with where I fit, when it comes to the big questions regarding Faith I haven’t felt a struggle at all. I’ve maintained a super strong testimony in that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and has a plan for my life. I know that Christ is my Savior.
I’ve repeatedly gone to the scriptures looking for answers.
James 1:5 — If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
2nd Timothy 1:7 — For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
I’ve prayed for guidance about what I should do. For awhile, I thought I just needed to have more of a “broken heart and contrite spirit” and that would help me find the answers.
Ether 4:15 — Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.
I’ve listened and watched General Conference talks and hoped that someone would say something that would fix what felt broken.
And, while I talked with friends and family about my struggles, I have purposely not been very public about those struggles.
When I was considering leaving California and internally debating about whether to move to Utah or to Tennessee, one of my goals for that move was that a change of scenery would help me get this part of my life back on track. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in Goodlettsville. It was mostly due to a lack of effort on my part.
It was also due to my sticking to the idea that I needed to fix the feelings I had about being Mormon … that there wasn’t a second option. It was go to an LDS Church or don’t go to Church at all. And, I did go to the ward in Goodlettsville. Not often, but I did go. I wish that I could say that I felt peace there and it was where I belonged and I just needed to get over myself, but the opposite of that is true.
When I decided to move up to Clarksville, I also made the decision that I was going to “try out” a few different churches and see how I felt at each of them.
I went to a few different churches and went in with a very open heart hoping for one of the churches to feel like I belonged there. The first few that I went through were okay, but I didn’t feel like they were the right church for me.
There is a church near the highway exit called Lifepoint Church. I knew, if only for its proximity, that it was one that I wanted to attend and see what it was like. Leading up to me attending, I did some research on the Church and I also listened to a few of the podcasts of the sermon that the pastor does each week. The first thing I noticed about the sermons is that they were rooted in the scriptures of the the New Testament. After listening to a few sermons, I decided to attend Sunday service.
For the first time in a really long time, I felt like I was where I belonged on a Sunday.
Worship at a church like Lifepoint is something that’s going to take me awhile to get used to. It’s a bit more dynamic than your normal LDS hymnal singing, but I enjoy it.
Lifepoint Church is a growing church. Throughout the summer they’ve had record attendance and they are actually adding a service to help with the attendance. The people there are friendly and have a service mindset.
It feels like the place I need to be right now.
I will end this by saying that writing this post has been tricky. I’ve had the majority of this post written in my head for most of this week, and I’ve been going back and forth as to whether to actually post it on the blog. This is one of the more authentic posts about my life and the current status of my life, but I’ve been so worried about disappointing people whose opinions I care about. I’ve been very careful over the past couple of years to not do anything that would permanently damage my relationship to the LDS Church. Even though I’ve struggled with my place in the Church, I continue to have a deep testimony of the LDS faith. I believe that the Book of Mormon is scripture. I believe that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I have hoped and prayed more than anything to find peace within the Church. But, it didn’t come.
For now, I believe that attending Lifepoint is where I need to be. I need to feel the fellowship of others that believe in Christ. I need to hear a consistent voice each Sunday that is rooted in the scriptures of the New Testament. I need to be of service to my community. I believe that this is where I need to be right now, and I have a peace that I haven’t felt in a long time.